Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory could perhaps be one of the most influential movies of the 1970’s. Yes, this decade brought us such classics as The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Annie Hall, Star Wars and Jaws, but have we ever learned as much from one individual, from one movie in the 70’s?
I submit to you 7 Lessons Learned from Willy Wonka
Did one person ever exude as much passion as Willy Wonka? His products were revered all throughout the land with children rushing to their local candy store to get their sweets on. From innovation, to quality control to distribution, his methods were the most creative.
Lesson: Find what you love an give 100%.
6. Trust No One
The movie is as much a 100 minute joyride as it is about the test of faith in humankind. Willy seeks a successor to his power plant of happiness but being burned many years earlier from spies he just didn’t know how to go about it. His brilliant idea; give the factory to a child as they would not have any hidden agendas. Little did he know the world consisted of Veruca Salt.
Lesson: Are humans inherently good or inherently evil? Tough question, so be extremely cautious, find a strong and tight circle that you can trust.
5. Drugs are not needed
“What a long strange trip it’s been” – Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead. How appropriate for both Willy Wonka and the movie is this line from one of the great bands of our era. The visuals in this movie, from the rooster getting its head cut off (I’ll cut your neck off), to the wavy gravy graphics to the Oompa Loompas singing and rolling a giant blueberry around. There is no need for any mind altering substance.
Lesson: Drugs are not needed to look at things differently. Try and take a different perspective, look at a problem from a unique angle, stand on your head, go for a hike, talk it out with the other voices in your head. The solutions are not always cut and dry.
4. Candy Can Cure All Ills
Is there any wonder that Europe had some bad dentistry problems in the 70’s? Look at all of the candy that was eaten. I don’t blame them, the satisfaction of the sweet sensation does make one feel better especially if living off of cabbage water. And with all of those choices, you needed to eat sweets everyday to use every day just to keep up.
Lesson: Tough day? Tough problem? Take a candy break and remove yourself from the situation. Take a few minutes to energize. The mental break and sugar high will get you refocused in no time.
3. Things are not always what they seem
Willy Wonka: “Try some more. The strawberries taste like strawberries. The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!”
Veruca Salt: “Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?”
We all laughed at this joke in the movie but no one really ever knew what a snoozberry was. Still don’t? Look it up.
Lesson: Do your due diligence before hoping into action.
2. Sing a little, or actually a lot
Willy Wonka sure sounded tone deaf and his lyrics most often made no sense. But that did not stop him from singing, singing and singing some more. And every so often he delivers a quality song such as the song pure imagination.
Lesson: Singing is a creative outlet that lets you share your thoughts in melodic fashion and perhaps sell a little product along the way.
1. There is nothing wrong with being crazy
Mad Hatter, Willy Wonka, Olaf. What do these characters have in common? They were a little crazy but much beloved. They knew to “let it go” and focus on the big picture, making people happy. I am saying crazy here not psychotic.
Lesson: Have a little fun. Act silly, sing weird songs (“tiny like a butterfly, feisty like a bee”), befriend a cardinal. People may think your odd, hell they already do.
Still want more Wonka? Have questions? Maybe this video can help.