by Jeanne Takenaka, @jeannetakenaka
Who has seen The Greatest Showman? Can I just say it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while? One of my favorite aspects of this movie is how Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum dreams. He kept an optimistic spirit, even when “bleak” defined his life. He infused light into the dark times.
Barnum needed to earn money to support his family, but got fired from his job. His daughter’s words kindled the dream for what would one day become his circus. He worked for his dream. He didn’t know exactly what he needed to do, so he started somewhere. He tried things. Some plans failed. Others succeeded.
P. T. Barnum kept dreaming. In the process of bringing the “misfits” of life together, he created a safe place. A place of acceptance.
His dream was not without opposition. Protestors shouted outside his building, becoming increasingly dangerous.
The thing is, Barnum persevered. He kept working toward his dream to bring smiles to peoples’ faces. He purchased an amazing home for his family.
He chose to see the possible, rather than the impossible in his situation. Even when things were at their worst, he held tightly to what he hoped to achieve.
He worked hard. He didn’t give up after a mistake or a setback. He figured out how to make it better.
He discovered what was most important. The dream was amazing. But the people who came together as a result of the dream being realized? They were what made his dream worthwhile.
How does all of this apply to us? As writers, most of us have dreams. We want our words to touch hearts. Our books to be published.
But, this road? It ain’t easy. We can take a few notes from The Greatest Showman to help us walk our paths toward fulfilling our dreams.
1. Determine to keep a positive outlook. Even when the rejections come. The contest scores tank. Remember why we write.
2. We all make mistakes. Figure out what’s not working with our writing and learn how to make it better. Talk with a mentor. Research online. Read books. We never have to stay stuck where we are.
3. Don’t fear opposition. We have an enemy who wants to defeat us. People who want to discourage us. We need to remember that God gives us our dreams. He will enable us to fulfill them in His way and time.
4. Remember there’s more to a dream being fulfilled than our words being published. Choose gratitude for those who help us along the way.
God is the Dream-Giver. His vision for our dreams may look different from our vision. We need to seek Him first. Ask Him to guide us as we work on our stories. And then walk on the path He leads us to.
What about you? If you’ve seen this movie, what did you like best about it? How do you keep your dreams alive?
Jeanne Takenaka writes contemporary fiction that touches the heart. She won My Book Therapy’s Frasier award in 2014 after finaling in the contest in 2013. She was a Genesis 2015 finalist in the romance category, and she finaled in the Launching a Star Contest and the Phoenix Rattler in 2012. An active member of ACFW and My Book Therapy, Jeanne blogs about life and relationships at http://jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com. A graduate with an M.A. in education, she resides in Colorado with her husband and two exuberant boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own.