Friday, August 9, 2013

Can A Man Change His Stars?

"Can a man change the stars? Yes William. If he believes enough, a man can do anything!" -- A Knights Tale

This father and son conversation comes from the movie, "A Knight's Tale", in which a young William proudly proclaims: "Someday... I'll be a knight." His confident declaration is met by jeers and ridicule. A man locked in stocks says: "A thatcher's son? A knight? You might as well try to change the stars." And so a chorus of laughter is the only response the little boy hears. But when he asks his father if it is possible, he is assured that it is. Does the father truly believe it? Maybe. Maybe not, But, the important thing is; William believes it and -- spoiler alert -- goes on to fulfill his dream.

For anyone to truly change the stars, he or she must have a vision and a belief that the seemingly impossible is actually attainable. The star-set mentality says that everything is ordered and the place we occupy in life is also ordered -- and that it is futile to resist or even question the outcome. Sadly, to one degree or another, most of us have accepted our star-set future. It may not come in the form of our lineage or heritage -- at least not specifically. But, our too-eagerly accepted constraints and limited beliefs can cause us to stop short and settle for a life that is far less fulfilling than the one beyond our stars. It is not too big of a stretch to say that there is even a level of comfort in the mundane and "normal" -- and even in the excuses that hold us there.

To get something you've never had, you need to do something you've never done. In fact, you may need to do something that nobody has ever done. If we go back to William's example, we'll see this is absolutely true. He eventually received his knighthood because of what many believed was the ultimate in defiance. He was willing to do what nobody, including those who were already so-called knights were willing to do.

While impersonating a knight, under an assumed name, William found himself in a jousting contest with a member of the royal family, who interestingly enough was also operating under an assumed name. This would become a significant point later in the story. When the prince's true identity was discovered, all of the other knights withdrew from the contest. To knowingly endanger a member of the royal family was punishable by death. And apparently none of the knights were willing to take that risk -- none except William. Because of his willingness to fight he wins the prince's admiration and eventually his true knighthood.

Perhaps his resolve is best seen in his simple response; "it's not in me to withdraw." Could it be that such a mindset and a willingness to be sold out at all costs is the true differentiator and the lever that makes it possible to alter the stars? If not, it certainly is the foundation on which the rock is laid. While he had no idea that this encounter was the passport to his dreams, he never wavered in his belief. Better to die as a result of action, than to live in regret of the one never taken.

What royalty lies within us? What path is ours for the taking? What are we willing to risk to forever change the stars -- and forge a new legacy for those who come after us?

Can a man change the stars? Yes William. If he believes enough -- and is willing to take the action to prove it -- a man can do anything! 

Change your thinking, and you'll change your stars!