Welcome to Hollywood. What’s your dream? Everybody comes here. This is Hollywood, the land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t. But keep on dreamin’. This is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.

Love these last few lines from Pretty Woman. Such poignant words to end a film. Yeah, I know. It’s an unrealistic Cinderella story of a hooker who finds millionaire love off Hollywood Boulevard but there are lessons to be learned. That’s what movies are great for. Really good ones tap into our subconscious and wake up something that may lay dormant. Pretty Woman provides at least three very important lessons.

1. Wade Through the Drudgery

How many of us have had to drudge through crap menial work in order to rise to the top or find our true calling? Years of putting in the extra hours to get a promotion or raise? I think that’s what Pretty Woman is really about. Not about finding prince charming riding in a white limo but about sifting through all our possibilities and finding what we truly want to do. God forbid any of us have to resort to prostitution but what a brilliant way for the writer to get his point across. In the end, Robert’s character decides to stay true to herself and forge a new path but as she demonstrates, sometimes you gotta go through the bad to get to the good.

2. Stay On Course

In one scene toward the end she confesses to Kit, her roommate, that she made good grades in school but clearly she got lost somewhere along the way. Has that ever happened to you? You set a course for a goal then a week, month, or years later found yourself in a completely different spot than what you intended? Because things come up right? Life happens. Deaths in the family, breakups, sickness, layoffs, dependents who rely on you to put bread on the table. But all of us have the chance to get back on course each and every day.

3. Beliefs Birth Reality

We are all capable of more than we believe but like Pretty Woman, we sometimes buy into the idea that we’re not good enough so we settle for less. She had what it took to stop a millionaire in his tracks but never believed it about herself. Our belief systems that reside within us must always be filled. So either we believe the goodness and strength within us and surround ourselves with people who support that or we allow the outside world to convince us we’re worthless and incapable. It’s a choice.

Dream Time

So let’s just pretend for a moment that your life is a movie and you’re the hero. Say you’re well into the second act. You’ve had some trials and tribulations and learned a few things. Now what? Take away all the shoulds and should nots and just dream for a minute. Would you change anything about the direction of your life? If not, kudos to you. You’re on the right track and you can forward this message to a friend. But if so, if you could write the script of your life from here on out what would it be?

Go big here. You have liberty to create whatever you want just for fun. Doesn’t matter if it’s to be President of the United States, Wonder Woman or the next Stephen King. The purpose is to think outside the box you’re in now. Has there ever been anything that really intrigued you but you never had the nerve to pursue it?  Think about it.

Now imagine your script continuing exactly as your life is now.

Which version is more appealing?

I know we all have our excuses:

  • I can’t afford to quit my day job.
  • My dream job won’t support me.
  • I won’t get a girl/guy on the salary that job would provide.
  • My parents won’t approve.

But we need to take a look at the bigger picture. At the end of your life do you want to look back with regret? Because if we deny something that truly tugs at our soul you can bet that’s exactly what will happen.

My blog for January is entirely devoted to dreams because I believe they should be at the forefront of our priority list. The conception and execution of them forms our reality and don’t we all want a great life? Maybe we won’t all end up living in the penthouse at the Regent Beverly Wilshire but even the little steps we take toward greatness will elevate our lives.

Photo courtesy of breakfastatdior.blogspot.com