Last updated on February 15th, 2019 at 12:57 pm
These are the women dreamers from Kathryn Stockett’s New York Times best-selling book and movie, The Help.
While the story took place in 1962, there are lessons to be learned about dreaming big in this story about racial inequality in the south.
In The Help, Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minnie risk everything to write a book about what life is like for them in Jackson Mississippi.
Through the process of writing their stories, Aibileen becomes empowered to pursue her dream to become a writer on her own.
8 Dream Lessons I Learned from The Help
1. Being different makes you unique.
There will never be anyone else who is exactly like you–ever. You are one of a kind, a unique individual. You were put on this earth to follow your heart, to strike out on your path and not to follow the crowd.
Be like Aibileen, Skeeter, and Minnie: dare to push your differences into something more to change your life and find true happiness.
Being different takes courage. Using your courage makes you confident. Confidence in your abilities makes you unique because you are.
2. Courage is your best friend.
“Courage isn’t just about being brave. It’s about overcoming fear and daring to do what is right for your fellow man.”
The above quote is from The Help and nothing could be more accurate about the relationship between the characters Aibileen and Skeeter. Big dreams require that you push through your fears and stand up for your vision. It will demand that you take chances and speak up when you think there is an opportunity. You have to ask for what you want. You have to raise your hand. You have to open your mouth.
And you have to know when to sit down, shut up, listen, and take good notes.
3. You must focus.
Big dreams require focus and a literary agent who gives you three weeks to finish. Your idea needs deadlines. Deadlines help you focus and move forward. Deadlines make you do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it. Deadlines take you from playing the victim in your dream life to being a participant.
Behave like Skeeter’s agent and make yourself achieve one big goal towards your dream in the next three weeks.
4. Working on a big dream will change you.
Working on your dream shapes your reality, helps control your demotivating habits and the events that influence your life. Suddenly it isn’t so important that you go out drinking with your girlfriends or find a man to disappear into his world. You become too busy. You have a new-found passion for your life. You begin to work on yourself in the best possible way.
Life will take on new meaning, and suddenly the small everyday stuff doesn’t matter anymore.
Troubles will become like silly commodes on a perfectly manicured lawn.
5. Attitude is everything.
You can choose to label what shows up in your dream life as either an opportunity or a threat. However it might look, what are you going to do about it? If a break is handed to you are you going to take it? If something gets in the way of your dream — what will you do about it?
Will your attitude allows you to quit when things aren’t going the way you want?
Ask yourself: what would Minnie do?
Understanding the role your attitude plays in the achievement of your dream helps you maintain motivation and plan for the ups and downs on the road towards success. Decide up front how far you are willing to go to achieve success before you commit to pursuing your big dream.
6. Your big dream should be aligned with what you truly want in life.
The character Skeeter wanted to go to work at a publishing house in New York City. The literary agent she wants to work for advises that she find something controversial to write. She began to look around her environment and chose a subject close to home.
Except this choice could ruin her life.
Don’t allow your current personal situation to get in the way of your dream. Go after your dream because you are compelled beyond reason to do it. Go after your dream because it is the right thing to do.
7. Listen to your gut instincts.
Does your dream pull you into it? Do you feel connected to it? Your gut will never fail you when it comes to your desire. Only you know deep down inside if it is something you feel compelled to do.
If your dream isn’t pulling you in over and over then, you have to look at what is wrong with your vision.
Are you compelled enough to call a stranger and ask for help with your dream? Will you pick up the phone and call a literary agent? Will you follow your gut and go for it?
If not, are you depressed? Is this a pattern? Or are you chasing the wrong dream?
What does your gut tell you? Does it tell you to make a special pie?
8. You must be willing to pay the price.
Nothing worthwhile comes easy or free. It’s like some unwritten law that you must work hard and be willing to move through each obstacle that appears before the world will grant you your dream. It was BC Forbes who said,
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”
What kind of price are you willing to pay for your big dream? Will you let go of a boyfriend? Will you risk getting fired? Will you risk ridicule? Embarrassment? Failure?
As I sat in the movie theater watching the women of The Help, I thought about their dream journey. They showed up when it wasn’t prudent to do so and are rewarded for their courage, but not without great sacrifice. Maybe this is what the author, Katheryn Stockett wanted us to take away from her story: face your fears ladies and do the thing you think you cannot do.
Because you are powerful beyond measure and capable of anything.
Catherine Hughes is the founder, content director and editor-at-large of 8WomenDream. She is passionate about helping women step out of their own way and strike out into a world waiting for their special talents. She’s a published author and a former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine has helped companies both large and small create engaging web content, social media narratives, and unique blogging platforms. She claims to be a redhead, but don’t hold that against her.
Note: Articles by Catherine may contain affiliate links and 8WD will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.