I’m not talking about Martin Luther King’s incredible speech here, that shouldn’t be a dream, it surely should be the daily reality of how we live?
No, I’m talking about you, or me, or Paul Potts.
Yesterday I was on a flight back home from Africa, flying cattle class, which left me with only three options. Drink so much I couldnt remember the flight or watch telly. The third option was to do both, which was how I started the flight. After only a very short time though I stumbled across a film, based on fact, on the life of this man.
If, like me, you’d never heard of Mr Potts, a brief resumé: Overweight kid, bullied mercilessly in school and even into adult life, always passionate about opera and singing it, meets girl falls in love, goes to an opera school in Venice and sings in front of the great Luciano Pavarotti, his all time hero. Bottled it. Lost his nerve, couldnt sing a note. Pavarotti dismisses him as a singer. He survives throat cancer and a very nasty car accident before eventually winning a TV talent competition in the UK and going on to sing in front of the Queen of Great Britain, recording several albums and becoming very successful.
It was only a short film, probably an hour (if you can find it on the World Wide Winifred I’d thoroughly recommend it) but it gripped me totally. I watched it twice, enthralled by a man, beset with a lack of self confidence but with an incredible innate talent who finally realised his dream.
In many respects he was a lucky man, not just overcoming many setbacks in life but being born with a dream, an overriding, all encompassing dream to succeed. His strength of character, plus the support of his family and friends meant he finally got there.
Whilst in life I’ve been very lucky, I’ve done things that most people wouldn’t even know existed, seen things people shouldn’t see and visited places that I dreamed of as a child, until recently I didn’t have a dream. Although I wanted to do things, I never had that overwhelming urge to be “something.” Indeed, at 49 years old I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Its only been since I’ve arrived into late childhood (50, but I am a bloke) that I’ve had that dream. Finally I’ve got that “thing” that I’m passionate about and watching that film has made me convinced that it can be done. Its nothing as dramatic as Paul Potts, its simply the urge to have a book accepted by a publisher and seeing it on the shelves of a bookshop, but after watching that film I’m convinced that with endeavour, persistence and a bit of luck, it can be achieved.
A truly inspirational film, and if I ever do realise my dream, that film will be mentioned in the foreword. The slight downside though is that I’m now walking everywhere singing Nessan Dorma.