Dreams: Yours, God’s, and Mike Wazowski’s

The other day I finally watched Monsters University for the first time. I was surprised by how long it took me to see it, given my love of Pixar movies, but it’s been a hectic year for me. It was a great movie, and one I would recommend you check out if you haven’t seen it yet. I am going to spoil the ending in this article, so stop now if you want to watch the movie and be surprised!

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Let me give a brief recap of the film before I talk at length about the issues within. In the movie the main character, Mike, wants desperately to go to Scare School so he can be a full-time scarer. It is in essence his dream job. Along the way he meets Sulley, and the film centers on both of their efforts to get into the prestigious scare program Monsters University offers.

They are both kicked out of the program when they fail the final exam, and they then join a scare games competition to try to win their way back in. The normal Pixar hilarity ensues, yet ends on an odd note. To win the final game Sulley has to cheat, as he knows Mike simply isn’t scary enough to succeed. This gets them both disqualified, and they are thrown out of the school as a result.

This brings us to the moment in the movie that really impacted me, and what I wish to discuss. Sulley is comforting Mike, who is sitting dejected after realizing that Sulley had to cheat for him to win the last game. Mike reflects that no matter how hard he will try, no matter how much he wants it, he simply will never be scary enough to be a scarer due to his physical appearance and demeanor. After this moment the two make amends, and go on to work for Monsters Inc. in the mailroom. The two eventually work their way up to the scare floor, where Sulley does the scaring and Mike is his coach. Mike never achieves his dream of being a scarer.

The idea that no matter how hard you try, you still might not succeed, genuinely surprised me. It’s not that I hadn’t heard the concept before, but to hear such an idea from a Disney movie, where you can always achieve your dreams, was shocking. I think it is an important notion, and one we should consider applying to our own lives.

Let me share some of my life story to explain what I am talking about. I have terrible eyesight, I am nearsighted, and it is much worse than the average individual with bad eyes. My lenses are about an inch thick, and I need to be about three inches away from a piece of paper to read it without my glasses on. I also have astigmatism in my left eye, which further complicates matters. I have tried contacts, but due to my prescription and sensitive eyes, they are too painful for me to wear. I even looked into laser eye surgery, but my eyes are so bad that they would not be able to fix my eyesight. All this to say, my eyes are bad, and like Mike there is little I can do to change it into the way I want it to be. This means that there are some activities, such as surfing and contact sports just to name two that I will never be proficient at. Whenever I go swimming I take care to stay near my friends for fear of losing them and not being able to find them again. I will never be able to wake up in the morning and actually see the world on my own, I must live behind my extra set of eyes.

And no matter how hard I try or how much I want it, this is how my life is going to be (barring any technological advancement that is).  While it caused me great depression for a time, I have come to accept the fact that dreams do not always come true, and have tried to move on with my life.

So am I saying that you should give up on your dreams if they seem hard and impossible? Not at all. There have been many examples in history where a person’s drive let them beat the odds and achieve their dreams. One example of this is King George VI, who overcame his speech impediment to inspire his country through his speeches during World War 2. His story is told through the excellent film The Kings Speech.

There is also a spiritual element to fulfilling your dreams. The Bible speaks of how through Christ all things are possible. If you believe you are on a mission of God, I encourage you to proceed at full steam ahead. The point I am trying to make is that it is likely not all of our dreams will come true. God has a perfect plan for our life, and His plan and ours don’t always see eye to eye. Therefore, don’t be crushed when you try with everything you have and still cannot achieve your dream. Rather be like Mike, who hit rock bottom and then got back up again and started climbing back to the top. Put your faith in God’s dreams for your life, and don’t ever stop working towards a goal. Enjoy the life that you have been given, and let your dreams come along for the ride.

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