WOW Word-Of-the-Week #397: Hakuna Matata

March 16, 2012 by  

Hakuna Matata – a Swahili phrase that is literally translated as “There are no worries.” It is sometimes translated as “no worries,” although is more commonly used similarly to the English phrase “no problem.”

Do you spend time dwelling on the past? Do you worry about things that haven’t happened yet? Are you fully living in the present?

In 1994 the Walt Disney Studios animated movie The Lion King brought the phrase international recognition, featuring it prominently in the plot and devoting a song to it. A meerkat and a warthog, named Timon and Pumbaa respectively, teach the main character, a lion cub named Simba, that he should forget his troubled past and live in the present.

Timon and Pumbaa

Have you heard the saying, “It is what it is?” Some things are just simply out of our control. And I have learned to not let that affect me. Another saying I have referenced before is, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present.”

One of the responses that I am hearing from service personnel more often is, “No Worries.” Especially when we were in Canada and the UK.

One of the things that I like about traveling is that I am totally focused on everything around me and am living “in the present.” The same applies for when I am playing golf. All I think about is hitting that stupid little ball!

This week’s focus is on having “no problems.” Have you ever said, “Hakuna Matata when a problem arose? Did you handle the situation differently? How would it feel to be able to say, “no problem” or “no worries” and mean it?

Reader Responses

“Hakuna Matata is a phrase that I have tried to impart to my daughters. But at age three and 10, everything revolves around them, whether it be home life, school or friends. So, they will worry about very small things, including whether a friend or friends will talk to them the next day at school. On these occasions, especially before my 10-year-old goes to bed at night, I will let her know that by tomorrow her friends will have forgotten about whatever spat had taken place. So, don’t worry about it. As I have matured during my lifetime, I have learned to accept what life presents me each day and enjoy each day as it comes. Over the past five days I have been dealing with a sinus infection, which has kept me in bed. Yesterday morning I was still sleeping at 10 a.m. when my three-year-old starts banging on my mattress demanding to be taken to the park. I had a great laugh as I looked at her and she started laughing. Obviously, she thought it was very funny. I told her that after I had breakfast and showered that I would take her. So, we went to the park for about an hour. She just did not want to get off that swing. I enjoyed that time with Emma and extended the moment. It was beautiful enjoying that time in the present, even though I was still under the weather. I did the same thing with her on Saturday. She had a great time. As I have told friends of mine, these are the best times of our lives. And I am enjoying them. So, whatever happens tomorrow, happens. I am enjoying the here and now. And it is a beautiful thing. Enjoy the Madness, Susan. Take care.” – “Warrior” Joe