Despicable Me
Universal Pictures
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There has been a lull in Minion-fever since the second film "Despicable Me" was released in 2013. But there is good news for folks, as the third film is on the horizon. If you forgot, the film is about supervillain Felonius Gru. Gru who is wildly bad and lovable. He's surrounded by an army of little mischievous yellow Minions and the children he adopted Dana Gaier, Miranda Cosgrove and Elsie Fisher. This super dad loves to fight back with the new gadgetry of the trade, cars and of course, his Minions. As we wait for Gru and Minion fever to spread again, there is more to "Despicable Me" as it also entails relatable lessons for all of us.

Set Boundaries

Gru is a parent in the first film with three kids, who were pretty much getting on the supervillain's last nerve. If you recall this is not a guy who wants a distraction in his suburban neighborhood. When the orphans originally showed up, he needed to set the record straight. "Okay, rule number one: You will not bother me while I'm working," he ordered. "Rule number two: You will not cry, or whine, or laugh, or giggle, or sneeze or barf or fart! So no, no, no annoying sounds!" Did it work? Not right away. But setting boundaries is necessary and healthy for all of us in life if we are going to remain focused. When we don't have boundaries, we can be torn in many directions. In this case, the girls accepted Gru's demands for boundaries and their relationship bloomed.

Be Ambitious

Gru is a successful villain and is basking in his fame in the first film. However, he became complacent and a rising star on the underworld was making headlines. His new challenge was Vector who became a big pain for Gru in stealing the Great Pyramid of Giza. This was unacceptable to Gru and he then tells the world that he was going to steal the moon. Being ambitious is often associated with being a negative attribute. However, we all need the Vectors in our lives to keep us from becoming stale and even full of ourselves.

Support Each Other

You might not be enthusiastic about someone else's dream but support them. In the first film, the children and the Minions found ways to fund Gru's dream of stealing the moon. When we invest in another person reaching their goals and dreams, we are aiding ourselves as well by being unselfish. Also, working as a team to accomplish a goal is more fun.

Find Good Leadership

The Minions live to follow, but they really had a tough time in finding a leader to help them flourish. They failed with their leaders T. Rex and Napoleon. Yet, they found a true leader in Gru, who encourages them to be their best. It took them a long time, but with persistence and the help of lead Minion, Kevin--they found their supervillain. Leadership is something that takes time, effort and is also something that is innate in people. It is more than delegating tasks in business. It shapes communities, families and can inspire groups of people to reach higher and beyond you as a human being. 

Enemies Can Be Lovers

Gru meets Lucy Wild, a rookie agent of the Anti-Villain League and as they spend time together, the tough guy falls in love in the second movie. But the bigger story is who he fell for. Wild lost her parents to a villain and made it her mission to destroy all villains. Gru was next on her list. She used her lipstick taser to subdue him and shoved him into the trunk of a car. The Anti-Villain League needed the now ex-villain (he retired to raise his adopted kids) to help them find a compound that could be used to destroy the earth. He refused but Wild asks "Aren't you excited to go back and do something awesome?" He decided to move forward and this odd couple fell in love and got married. Never dismiss someone as being out of the race in your love life. You never know, who might be the right one.

Be Honest

When you feel that you are getting away with something--you are not. Lying to get a job or for anything else might seem like a good idea, but it can land you in trouble. Our villain was not the exact candidate to become a father. In a panic, he lied on his profile so he would be able to adopt the girls from the orphanage. Of course, this move backfired. Being unethical on your resume or in life will always catch up with you. It is not worth lying to get what you want.  

Treat People Well

Gru has a great relationship with his Minions. He leads them and they work under him with pride. But he returns the favor. If you are in a leadership role know that your best assets are the people working for you. Gru gets this and rewards his yellow workers with hugs and gratitude. We still take people for granted as we are human. Gru was not perfect, he took his pals for granted in "Despicable Me 2" They were abducted by El Macho and forced to become monsters. Gru realized how important they are to him. Having flexibility is vital as a leader or in any position that you hold, know that you can't be a success without others.

We can learn a lot from Gru and his crew of misfits. May it be lessons gleaned for our personal lives or for our professional lives, "Despicable Me" offers fascinating gems. Whether it is love, business or settling down to be a parent--the film grants us something to think about. If not, at least we can grab a laugh or two.
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