Remember those mornings you spent as a kid entertaining yourself with cartoons over a bowl of sugary cereal? I certainly do, and I never wanted that time to end. My mom would pull at my shirt and say, “Listen Adam, you’re going to learn much more in school than you will in these silly cartoons.”

Life Lessons Taught by Your Favorite Cartoons

After a lengthy hiatus in my young adult years, I decided to revisit some of my old favorites in order to find out what it was that captivated my ADD riddled attention span. The first thing to hit me was a wave of nostalgic innocence, but then something peculiar came to my attention. I found that within most of these cartoons the characters taught important lessons that I had subconsciously adopted and programmed into my everyday life. I could finally call my mother back up and say, “Remember when you told me cartoons wouldn’t teach me anything? Well check out this new article on Strong Whispers…”

Ed, Edd, and Eddy Never Gave Up

Whenever I watched this show all I ever wanted was to see the three hooligans get the ever-elusive jawbreaker candy. I wouldn’t argue that assembling scams out of junkyard scraps is an ideal way to succeed, but the kids did teach me an important lesson about persistence. In life, there are a lot of goals that won’t just roll to your feet.

The most challenging tasks are often the most rewarding, but you have to be willing to face failure and continue to strive towards your goals. What is your metaphorical jawbreaker? A good job? A fulfilling relationship? Regardless of the scale, approach the problem with an attitude like Ed, Edd, and Eddy and you’re bound to find success.

SpongeBob and the Power of Optimism

“I’M READY!” were the first words that SpongeBob would shout out on his daily commute to work. Most people look more like reluctant zombies when heading to their job in the morning. In the SpongeBob SquarePants series, you learn that optimism will always lead to happiness. SpongeBob works a mundane job with a crummy boss and his everyday life is far from lavish.

He indulges in the small things that makes him happy which helps him avoid disappointment and stress. His neighbor Squidward serves as a comparative lesson. His constant pessimism leads to a commonly miserable existence.

Scooby Doo and Working Together

When you saw the mystery team spoil an elaborate hoax aimed at selfish gain, you would hear the villain say something along the lines of, “I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids.” The villain would address the characters as a team because that’s exactly how they solved all of their problems.

Each episode requires the characters to split up and contribute to solving the mystery in their own way. In school and the workplace the same concept applies. You will always solve your problems quickly if you are willing to use the help of others.

The Rugrats Needed Leaders and Followers

The first thing I learned from the Rugrats is that you should always keep a spare screwdriver in your diaper. The second however, is far more valuable. The group of babies is constantly being guided through adventures by their leader Tommy. He is a lot like the boss-type people that run our modern society.

The show doesn’t demean the necessity of his followers either. Tommy isn’t an oppressive leader and he frequently uses the input of his friends to guide their quests. This shows that if you are going to be the person to lead, provide guidance instead of being subjective.

What were your favorite cartoons as a kid? Did they teach any valuable lessons? Share your thoughts with a comment below.

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