What a wonderful phrase
It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy
I need to get this done by today. I have that report to submit this morning. I wish I had more time to finish the paper. I don’t know how I will pay those bills this month. Does my wife have a work spouse? I never find any time for myself. Am I getting fat? I don’t know what more to do, nothing ever goes my way.
Relax! Breathe! And say Hakuna Matata! Every time you start worrying about a problem, just tell yourself…Hakuna Matata.
The very first thing we think about when we hear the words Hakuna Matata is the iconic Disney animated movie The Lion King (you may even think of the recent live-action one if you want). I am sure you can’t even say the phrase without signing the song inside your mind at least once. That’s the impact of Hakuna Matata.
A simple message with a deeper meaning
Hakuna Matata! It’s a philosophy that Timon and Pumbaa live by. They enjoy their lives even though they eat insects and have no one else except each other. They live freely in the forest and do whatever their heart desires. Hakuna Matata means no worries. This is what they teach Simba to pick him up and help him to discover himself. Although the message behind the song may appear as a funny, feel-good piece, when you understand what Hakuna Matata really means, it can help you transform your life.
The core message of the phrase is to live your life without any worries and believe that everything will be alright. It’s a problem free, philosophy. Stressing about the problems in life will not make them go away nor will it make you any happier or productive. We need to understand that bad things happen in life and there’s nothing we can really do about it. However, this message can be easily misunderstood.
So let us take a closer look at what Hakuna Matata really means and how you can use this philosophy to live a better life starting today!
Hakuna Matata! But what does it actually mean?
Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase which translates to “there are no troubles”. Hakuna means “there is not here,” and matata means “troubles or problems”. The Disney animated movie The Lion King translated the phrase to “no worries”, which is more or less similar to the actual meaning. The philosophy can also be roughly translated as “all is well” or “everything is okay.” Irrespective of what literal meaning you derive from the original East African Swahili phrase, it encourages us to stop worrying unnecessarily and trust that everything will be alright.
What Hakuna Matata DOESN’T mean
Understanding what Hakuna Matata really means is not the same as understanding what it doesn’t mean. It can mean different things to different people and this is where the beauty of the phrase can be misinterpreted. When you don’t recognize the true essence of Hakuna Matata, it can lead to some serious negative consequences.
Living the Hakuna Matata life does not mean following a philosophy of unwillingness to do anything. All of us have problems in life. We are all worried and stressed about something or the other. We think more than we actually do. And sometimes all this stress can adversely affect our life’s choices and our health. This is where the philosophy of “no worries” comes in.
However, having “no worries” does not necessarily mean you will do whatever you feel like without worrying about the consequences. We all want to live a happy fulfilling life full of adventure and excitement. We want to take risks, make mistakes, have fun and experience life as it is. We want to be happy. We want to relax. Hakuna Matata can mean all of that as long as you take responsibility for your actions.
Hakuna Matata is not escapism
Consider these lines from The Lion King:
Nala: “Why didn’t you come back to Pride Rock?”
Simba: “Well, I just needed to…get out on my own. Live my own life. And I did. And it’s great.”
Nala: “We really needed you at home.”
Simba: “No. It doesn’t matter. Hakuna Matata.”
Simba: “Hakuna Matata. It’s something I learned out here. Look, sometimes bad things happen…And there’s nothing you can do about it. So why worry?”
Nala: “Because it’s your responsibility!”
I believe this scene captures the true essence of what Hakuna Matata really means. The phrase is NOT life advice on how to escape responsibilities. The philosophy should be used sparingly to help you face certain challenges and focus on problem-solving instead of worrying.