It appears that in order to teach us, writers use vehicles that are extreme. Here the vehicle used to teach us the lesson of hope is foreclosure. The losing of property, a home is a metaphor for losing the American dream. Of course, we have all herd of the phrase “Dream home,” and “Cute little house with a white picket fence,” conjuring images of the perfect life with mom and dad, 3.2 children “and two cats in the yard; now everything is easy ‘cause of you” (“Our House” by CSN&Y).

In film, writers teach us to keep our dreams and to fight against the odds. There is The Astronaut Farmer (2006), starring Billy Bob Thorton; Dreamer (2005), starring Dakota Fanning; and Field of Dreams(1989),starring Kevin Costner, all which use the vehicle of foreclosure, loss of home and the American dream to push us to the edge emotionally, to emotional extreme to teach us lessons of faith and hope in dreams fulfilled.

Of course, in these stories there are always the naysayers. In The Astronaut Farmer, it’s the banker, the small-town psychiatrist, even a former astronaut comrade of Charles Farmer that all tell him to forget his dream, the impractical, the dangerous, even the illegal.

In Dreamer, the little girl, Cale Crane is discouraged by most telling her, her desire to race Sonya (or Soñador, Spanish for “Dreamer”) in the Breeder’s Cup Classic—a most prestigious horse race—is a pipe dream, an impossibility. Even her father’s and grandfather’s desire to stay away from breeding horses or anything to do with racing because of broken dreams should be a discouragement to Cale. But she persists because of youth or strength of heart and vision, and lack of desire to give in to the norm or accepted way of living which is her defense against killing off hopes and dreams of a better life.

In Field of Dreams the killer of dreams is characterized specifically by Ray Kinsella’s brother-in-law, Mark, who at every turn is advising Ray and his sister, Annie, to plow under the baseball field and raise corn crops before the bank puts the house in foreclosure.

It is because of Farmer’s dream of building a rocket ship as a private citizen counter to FAA regulations that he goes into hock buying materials and 10,000 lbs. of rocket fuel, which raises the collective eyebrows of the FAA, all nearly resulting in the loss of home.

In Dreamer, Cale’s father in giving up on his dreams slowly sells his farm piece by piece until he has to not only sell the land under his house but, of course, the house as well.

In each film, at the turning point, a tough or obvious decision for most must be made. Farmer must certainly take the money his wife has recently received from her father’s estate to pay the bank, and Cale certainly should take the money offered for Sonya by the evil Palmer, played by David Morse, to pay for her father’s house, and Ray should certainly replant the corn crop where his baseball field is so he won’t lose the house. But none do the obvious.

Some critics call these films fanciful, unrealistic, or even films that get more and more unrealistic and unbelievable as the plot progresses.
But are they unbelievable? Are there no stories of true hope and overcoming of great odds in real life where people have pushed through great odds to great success?

There are many.

Tony Robbins is an individual who rose to great prominence and success in the motivational field only to have it all crumble. As his employees fled the sinking ship, he kept the notion in his mind and heart that he would find a way. Against great odds, he did.

In the Pursuit of Happyness [sic], based on the true story of Chris Gardner, the film depicts what critic Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle calls “nothing like the usual success story . . . in which, after a reasonable interval of disappointment, success arrives wrapped in a ribbon and a bow. Instead, this success story follows the pattern most common in life (emphasis added)- it chronicles a series of soul-sickening failures and defeats, missed opportunities, sure things that didn't quite happen, all of which are accompanied by a concomitant accretion of barely perceptible victories that gradually amount to something. In other words, it all feels real."

Here is a story of an intelligent man who never reaches his potential until he reaches his forties. He overcomes a wife who berates his efforts, a lack of education, and many great obstacles to not only success--he eventually obtains a paying position as a stock broker--but great success as a business owner, millionaire, and philanthropist.

There are stories throughout history of those who have stuck to their dreams overcoming great odds to achieve great success in business, politics, entertainment and so forth. I have personally met and read about many a wealthy individual who almost inevitably has his or her story of great trial to tell. Mind you, not just minimal struggle, but often times “sickening failures and defeats, missed opportunities, sure things that didn't quite happen.” It has happened over and over and over again, but it certainly has not happened for the majority, for it is only the brave soul who not only ventures out but stays the course through thick and thin who obtains the dream.

But we all have the potential to not only follow our path but to overcome the trials and challenges to achieve greatness (here greatness not necessarily being qualified by great monetary, social or political status but by doing that which helps us optimize our human potential). However, it takes great focus, concentration, hope and faith, and tenacity to achieve. Great achievement is not for the weak of heart.

But what is interesting to note is that those who’ve succeeded are the stalwart ones, the ones that never gave in to failure, but instead were strengthened and enlivened by it as they continued to believe in their struggle and to believe in an inner-knowing that there was no turning back, no alternative but to move forward and try, try again. It has come to my understanding that the major difference between the successful, even the uber-successful, and the majority are those that have these attributes.

But what is the alternative? Mediocrity and deathbed regret?

We have a choice, but ultimately it should be uniform choice, for all should choose to soldier up and take the only path that not only breads character, that not only enlivens and shapes the mortal clay of humankind, but provides us with a look at the stuff in us that lies deep that can only be seen by hewing the rough stone of immaturity, inexperience, and selfishness away to obtain the great and grand, a divine light of developed prosperity and hope.

Nothing worth great value in life comes easy. If it does, it is not long lasting, for only in that which one sweats to obtain will one not only find value but riches, great riches of the world, certainly, but even more importantly great riches of the heart, even that of a seeing into the priceless depth of the human soul. For we certainly shortchange ourselves if we give in to mediocrity and fear and don’t venture forth from the womb of safety to take on the refining fire of experience.

Many don’t because of fear, and many speak of impossibility of doubt, and that is their destiny.

What is yours?

Where would we be if the Founding Fathers and all the others who came to this country when it was young if they didn’t rely on hope and fight for the impossible dream? Where would we be if Martin Luther King did not dream his dream? Where would we be if all those of great heart and passion didn’t come forth?

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest (emphasis added)

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage

To reach the unreachable star

Corny? Your loss.

Impossible? Your deathbed full of regret.

Hopeless? We ask you to step aside.

This country, this ideal of freedom of choice and the required democracy to nurture all dreams should be a true sign that the universe has opened its arms of opportunity to you. But she is a tough task master. She may have provided the environment needed, but you must supply the heart and tenacity to get it done.
If you don’t fulfill your dream--everyone can--or desire to do so, your loss. But many have, are, and will.


The feeling of achievement, satisfaction, power, and hope after coming through the onslaught, the maelstrom of challenge and defeat is second to none. It is here where we put on the armor of overcoming to not only be strengthened and fortified for our own purpose but to the greater purpose of helping others to overcome to do the same for themselves and the other, again and again and again.

It is a feeling to cherish, to honor and obey for time and eternity.
Here’s to your empowerment through not only dreaming the impossible dream, but to fight for it with an unrelenting vision of hope of achievement.

Here’s to your legacy.

Author's Bio: 

Jeff is CEO of working with students and parents using the proprietary Success, Design and Preparation system creating a plan to ensure being of the 30% of college grads who don't waste 10 to 15 years or leave 100s of thousands of dollars on the table.

Previous to owning Inner Projection, Jeff worked as a computer programmer and in tech. support, but hated it enough to move from his home in Connecticut to do stand up comedy in Boston where he worked with such comics as Bill Burr, Dan Cook, and Billy Martin and wrote for people like Mz. Michagan who needed material for her ventriloquism act. He then moved to Los Angeles to do more stand up, but found being a college professor more fulfilling. He's married with 3 children.

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