A few weeks ago, myself along with many other Americans saw the highly anticipated sequel, “Finding Dory” at our local movie theater. The anticipation had been building for years as Disney Pixar had been promising a sequel to Finding Nemo for quite some time. In the first movie, Dory was a scatter brained fish who suffered from short term memory loss. However, her determination and perseverance will always be remembered by audiences as she coined the famous line, “Just Keep Swimming”. If you’ve seen Finding Nemo, we see a journey take place where a father is looking for his son and Dory enters the picture along the way to help. We never know much about Dory, except that she becomes a great friend and ally in the pursuit of finding Nemo. 
As seen in the previews of Finding Dory, Dory recalls her family and quickly finds herself trying to retrace her steps back to find them. She endures an adventure of obstacles, challenges, and meeting new people, all along the effort of remembering who she is and rediscovering where she comes from. Now, I won’t tell you how the movie goes as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but one thing I will tell you is that there are many of us in life who can relate to Dory. You might think, “Now Brandon, how can I relate to a silly fish like Dory?” 😉
Well, today if there are two common things that have become easily forgotten about in this world, it’s knowing who we are and knowing where we come from. As a youth speaker, I hear students tell me that they struggle with their identity, understanding their purpose, and figuring out where to go next in life. It’s an easy state of mind to be in and there is hope for those of us who have felt that way. When Dory had become clueless about her past, she wandered from place to place looking for a place to belong and lived a life that was purposeless. But when Dory began to have epiphanies about her family, she became ferocious and ardently passionate about finding them. 
You see, in this moment, Dory had a Purpose to go after- she realized that there was more to her life and that made her want to discover who she was and where she came from. Have you realized that there is more to your life that is waiting to be discovered? Just like Dory, you have an origin, a heritage, a beginning, and for many of us, we are needing to go back and find it. These beginnings are the starting points to our identity as an individual. None of us would be who we are if it weren’t for our origins. Our past shapes us, our present spurs us, our future inspires us, but our purpose fulfills us. When you are living your life with purpose, you truly discover who you are and the reason you are here. 
Dory had a beginning. Dory had a purpose. Dory had a destiny. And no matter what she went through in life, these factors would not change. Guess what? You too, have a beginning, a purpose, and a destiny. No matter what you’ve gone through or are going through, these things will not change. Knowing who you are and where you come from go hand in hand and are two very important things none can afford to forget. Maybe for some of us we need to go back and remember our origins, so we can remember our identity. Maybe for some of us we need to go back and remember where we came from so we can understand where we are going. The truth is, I needed to hear this, we need to hear this, our nation needs to hear this. Dory once found Nemo, and now, she is trying to find herself. In reality, we have found ourselves before, and we can only hope that we as leaders, we as a people, and we as a nation can find ourselves once again. I look forward to the day when we all do just that, but until then, Just Keep Swimming. 🙂 #FindingDory #FindingDestiny #NewBlogPost


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Brandon Baumgarten

Brandon Baumgarten grew up in the small town of Oilton, Oklahoma and was elected to serve the Oklahoma FFA Association as State Secretary, State President, and as a National Officer Candidate representing nearly 25,000 students on the local, state, and national levels from 2011-2013. Afterwards, Brandon launched his speaking career and authored the highly sought after leadership book, Caught Up & Called Out, hoping to help others see the impact they can make on this world. He is a professional speaker, speaking at over 100 different events each year, and a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Leadership, and was even named a top 10 student. He is a Zig Ziglar Legacy & Youth Certified Presenter and his message is always to engage, encourage, and empower you to do something big in your life! No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or business executive, Brandon's presentations are certain to make you laugh, think, and realize your impact is about to begin!

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