I was driving to Bennington on Thursday listening to NPR (Fresh Air). Terry Gross was interviewing Mike Mills, a film maker who was talking about his newest movie, Beginner’s. I enjoyed the interview right away because the guy was really funny, in a self-deprecating sort of way, and the talk was interesting (the film was based on his own life and his father’s “coming out” as a gay man at 75), but what really struck a chord was his doubt.
As he talked about the way the film came to be, he said that he didn’t think it would be a success, didn’t think that he could get Ewan McGregor or Christopher Plummer to even read the script, when he found out that each one had the script, he was ecstatic, for a moment, then doubted that they would like it. When he found out that they liked it, he thought that neither would ever consider the part, then he heard that McGregor wanted to meet with him, and he doubted that McGregor would be a nice guy: was sure that he would be arrogant (which he wasn’t)….it just went on and on…his doubt that his work wasn’t good enough…
We hear so much about faith being the key factor in our success that it can start to feel like, “If I have one iota of fear/doubt then it (whatever it is that I want) won’t happen. Fear that I’ll sabotage myself, my dream and my life, by doubt. But that just is not true, and stories like Mike Mills’ remind me of that, and offer a little assurance that I do not have to do it “perfectly”. I just have to do it. That I will have doubts, fears and worries at times, and life will still move forward …sometimes in wonderous ways.
“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed… Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” From A SUCCESSION OF FOREST TREES , Henry David Thoreau