I have been rather hooked on the Netflix series House of Cards; it is an adaptation of the BBC‘s mini-series of the same name. I love the intrigue and suspense; the ruthlessness of the main protagonist – Frank Underwood – is astounding. Talk about values! Frank certainly knows what his are and lives his life by them even if it means death and destruction along the way…
One of the more likeable characters in the season I’m currently watching is Freddie who has a fairly minor role. In the first two series he owned a rib joint where Congressman Frank Underwood could go to eat uninterrupted by the proceedings of Capitol Hill. Freddie became somewhat of a confidant to Frank over the years and this was appreciated – a softer side of Frank rarely seen. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond his control, Freddy had to close the business and now needs work. Frank wants to find him work at The Whitehouse and invites Freddy and his grandson to visit him at iconic landmark.
Freddie and his grandson meet with Frank in the Oval Office – an auspicious moment for both of them and when asked if one day he’d like to become President, Freddie’s grandson answers Underwood: “Yes!” As they leave the building Freddie’s grandson says to him: “I wanna be President one day!” Freddie pulls his grandson aside and remonstrates him for thinking such ridiculous thoughts: “Well that’s never gonna happen. The truth is, you ain’t never gonna be President – that ain’t for folks like you and me. It’s like those basketball players you got plastered all over your walls; unless you’re born seven feet tall, you ain’t gonna be one. It’s alright havin’ dreams just as long as they ain’t fantasies.”
My heart sank. Obviously these characters are fiction but it got me wondering how many children or even adults, have their dreams crushed because they’re informed that they’re not good enough to achieve their goal, or that they’re not the ‘right person’ or that there’s too much work involved so they’ll probably give up. Who are any of us to decide whether an individual is or isn’t capable of achieving something or whether they should or shouldn’t give something a shot. Encouragement is key and even if things don’t quite pan out as first intended, at the very least, that person will feel supported and their dreams valued.
Whether it be your children, friends or colleagues, if someone has a goal they want to achieve, help them by talking it through. With your guidance, they can plan step-by-step how they can realise their objective. It could be to be an astronaut which can be achieved through hard work, qualifications and relevant training or maybe along the way, they turn to astrology. Maybe a colleague wants to be have a Doctorate in a chosen subject so before commencing a PhD, you might first steer them towards other relevant course followed by a Masters in their chosen field and so forth.
Only we as individuals can we stop ourselves from achieving what we want but it doesn’t help if we also have others throwing obstacles in our way. See yourself as a mentor to help others attain their goals and meantime, think about your own mindset – expect success and be a glowing example.
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou