Last week I watched The Internship. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have been two of my faves since Wedding Crashers and they have come together, yet again, with a whole lot of tomfoolery accompanied by equal amounts of authenticity and heart to achieve something great. Who would think you could get an internship at Google without the proper qualifications or skills? Well, it's meant to be a bit of fun and really quite ludicrous but, truth is, I love movies like this. Not because they're funny (although I love that too!), but because underneath all their ridiculousness, there's a message. And it's a message I always find inspiring, because it speaks to people like me. People who tend not to love the traditional way of doing things and who often pay dearly for that in the short term, but also, who work their tails off and, as a result, usually still make the cut (albeit only just!). Movies like this say something like, 'No, true, you aren't the favourite to win, but, let's be honest, you're freaking awesome and your dogged determination to succeed and to stay true to yourself while doing it make you a star – you will get there.'
I feel good that things have never really fallen into my lap. It keeps me on my toes, always striving and, more importantly, keeps me humble, kind and connected to myself and to what I believe to be the true nature of other people. Everyone, no matter how 'charmed', has both dreams and doubts. No matter how self-assured some people seem, many of them are faking it (which by the way works because if you lie to yourself just long enough, you'll begin to believe what you say!). As for the rest, they work hard everyday to continue believing in themselves, I'm sure of it.
In the face of unexpected crises, setbacks and alternative outcomes to the ones they were striving toward, all of which in the moment, inevitably feel like failures, they refuse to quit trekking. Not to mention all the people who think or even tell them their efforts are for naught. I've been called naive more times than I can count by people who mistake my positive outlook on life for 'rose-tinted glasses' and who laugh unashamedly at my belief in myself, my dreams and other people.
But I think those who laugh at my optimism have likely been knocked down one time too many by life's struggles and they have become cynical. They've come to believe the world isn't the lovely place they once thought it was and that their old ambitions were nothing but a child's foolish dream. True, the world is a rougher place than most of us were probably led to believe. But claiming this is any reason not to create the life we want for ourselves is nothing more than a convenient excuse for the lazy acceptance of our default role as cogs in the machine.
I think, deep down, everyone wants to believe in better than this. As far as I'm concerned, no one is destined for mediocrity – and a touch of naive is sometimes exactly what's required to make dreams a reality.