Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No, You Can't Be Anything You Want

We've all heard the encouragement of, "You can be anything you want. You can be the President."
It is absolutely critical to instill in children the drive to reach for the stars. You don’t want to limit them at a young age, but what do you do when that child is in high school and they can’t make it to the stars? 

As a child becomes a young adult, we need to take a different approach. For a lot of fledgling adults, they grow up, and when they can’t reach the dream. they discard those silly notions. Either they realize the stars are out of reach or they’re told they're 319 million people in the U.S. and only one president. That’s a lot of people that won’t reach that star. You then pick a job or occupation and that’s the end of the dream. I don’t like that.

There are 319 million people in the U.S. and 
only one president.

I faced a similar situation in college. I took a video and animation class my 3rd year. At this point, my major was set. Nothing was going to deter me from graduating on time. In class one day, my teacher told me this after watching a video I created. “I have never, in my 20 years of teaching, seen a video that captured emotion so succinctly.” I admit he said more after that, but I didn’t hear it. I had never gotten praise like that, and I was swimming in it.

You pick a job or occupation and 
that’s the end of the dream. 

I liked making the video, and I was good at it. I knew I couldn’t be Martin Scorsese or Stanley Kubrick. I knew I wasn’t going to change my major to film making, but I knew film making was what I wanted to do. I had to grow up, face the facts, and dismiss the fantasy. For the most part I did, I graduated the next year.  I lost access to the expensive camera, to the software, the computers, all the good stuff the school provided. I got a job, But I didn’t stop writing.

Five years later, I was able to afford a camera. I made a short film, and another. I had years of ideas stockpiled. I didn’t have to discard my dream, I needed to refocus them. I posted the videos to Youtube. I’m still no Stanley Kubrick, but I don’t have to be. While I don’t make Hollywood blockbusters, I am making short films. Just because I didn’t reach the stars, doesn’t mean I had to abort the mission.

You can be president, but you can also be a state legislator. There are 7,383 state legislators. A lot of state legislators run unopposed. Those aren’t bad odds.
As you get older, refocus your dreams, don’t be constricted to one position that is the pinnacle of all positions. A politician is a politician whether its national or state.

As you get older, refocus your dreams, don’t be constricted to one position that is the pinnacle of all positions.

Martin Scorsese and I both make films, his just cost more. You want to play in an orchestra, start by learning to play an instrument. Join a band, after all that’s what an orchestra is.

Don’t limit your dreams. Hold on to them, modify, and reshape them. You can do it. Maybe you can’t reach the stars, but what can you reach? Trying to reach the stars and failing, puts you closer than not trying at all.
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