Let’s be honest, artists and creatives are strange people, and if you’re an independent filmmaker, chances are you haven’t been taken seriously at least once.
You’ve had a dream or an idea and you’ve striven to achieve it—with or without the support of your friends and family. Although, somewhere along the way it didn’t work out. You failed and were discouraged.
Naturally, no one wants to support a dream destined to fail, but as the old saying goes, “Aim for the moon and if you miss, at least you’ll hit the stars”… or something along those lines.
I hate cliches and so upon seeing this quote (kinda everywhere), I cringe. It has a cheesy yet inspiring, ‘feel good’, ‘don’t give up on your dreams’ vibe, but it’s the topic of this article, so… joke’s on me.
Shoot for the moon
I want to ask the question, is having unrealistic goals and dreams healthy or not? Have we set ourselves up for failure when we aspire to be an astronaut but end up merely working in a planetarium?
If you actually dream to visit outer space, but discover it’s a silly plan, then let me say this: If you dream of becoming a burger flipper, you won’t get any further than flipping burgers.
…or working as a janitor in the planetarium instead of learning about the mysteries of life, faith and the universe.
Crashing into a star isn’t such a terrible outcome, is it?
Sometimes we can set ourselves up for disappointment making such extravagant and ridiculous plans. However, even when there’s clearly a low chance we’ll achieve them, we shouldn’t see it as failure. Instead, we should be grateful for what we do achieve.
If you aim for a 10 then you might only achieve an 8, but if you only aim for a 5, you won’t get any higher than a 5. If you ask me, an 8 starts to sound pretty good.
Oscar nominations are nothing to marvel at…
For some reason, no one’s satisfied with Leonardo DiCaprio being nominated for several Oscars until he actually wins one… but simply being nominated is an extremely high honour most of us can only dream of.
As a film editor I have some pretty far-out goals, including getting nominated for an Oscar myself… at least once for best editing. However, this may take a lifetime to achieve and probably won’t happen, let’s be honest.
I can still work for it, though. I can still do everything in my power to edit together Oscar-worthy films and then one day, I might end up editing films for Universal or Warner Bros. According to my original goal I would have failed, but objectively I would call it success.
Perhaps my goal should be to win ten Oscars, because maybe then I’ll win one.
When you invest all your time and effort into uncertainty.
As creatives, we can have some pretty ridiculous ideas which naturally get disregarded by some of our closest friends and family. But don’t let this stop you.
Work towards your unlikely dreams. Take steps of faith because you may still achieve something incredible—even when you fail according to your original goals.
When reality doesn’t meet our expectations.
There’s nothing wrong with being dreamers when we work hard toward what we want, while letting go of how it comes to pass. It’s likely your expectations will not be met.
As humans, we’re constantly disappointed based on unmet expectations. But it’s all a matter of perspective. I can confidently say many great inventions happened by accident. Many discoveries I have made myself happened by accident and I have no regrets.
It’s rare to uncover mysteries about ourselves and the universe when we don’t aim high. You’d be surprised at the invisible doors opened up by hard work.
You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love” – Jim Carrey
Don’t stop being dreamers.