Studio Ghibli is known for capturing the beauty and pain that comes with growing up. They usually feature adolescent characters trying to find their place in the world. It is a period where they discover their dreams and goals in life. Kiki’s Delivery Service is the perfect film that explores on pursuing one’s dreams and the obstacles that can be encountered.
So what does Kiki’s Delivery Service teach us? What can we learn from it?
Pursuing Your Dream Will Make You Happy
Realizing what you really want to do in life is very crucial. This is the way for us to truly live our lives. In order words, we do not just exist. There is something in our life that motivates us, that pushes us to go on. Pursuing your interests will make you feel more fulfilled and happy.
This is similar to Kiki making a career out of her interest. She loves to fly on her broomstick, so she decided to create a delivery service. What better way than making your passion as your job? You can never feel like you have to work a day in your life. It does not feel like an obligation, like there is no sense of dread whenever you wake up.
Yet, It Does Not Guarantee a Smooth Journey
However, like other things in life, choosing the path of our dreams does not automatically guarantee a smooth sail. Challenges and setbacks are still on the way, and it has the ability to dissuade us. This happened to Kiki in the film as well, as she faced the harsh reality.
We Are Not Experts First
We must accept that in pursuing what we want, we are not going to be experts on it first. We still have to learn and master all the tips and tricks in order to become the best. In doing so, we must be prepared for failures. Failures and mistakes are normal, as long as we learn from them.
Kiki’s first delivery was actually not great, as she managed to lost the toy bird she was supposed to deliver. Her resourcefulness and quick-thinking led to mitigate the situation. It is a rather stressful experience, especially when it is your first time doing it. It may be embarrassing to the point of blowing our confident, but remember that it takes time to be better.
Not Everyone Will Appreciate What We Do
Particularly, Kiki felt hugely deflated when a client of hers disliked the pumpkin herring pie she had delivered. This is the granddaughter of the old woman Kiki became close to. Even without a proper nor valid reason, it is possible that someone (most especially a client) will not appreciate the efforts or hard work that we have done. Even if we put our heart and soul into it, they will just don’t like it – plain and simple. It is a heartbreaking experience, and it can actually stop you from pursuing what you want.
This leads us to the depths of self-doubt and mulling over if we can still continue walking on our chosen paths.
Most significantly, the one thing that can hinder us hugely from pursuing our dream is burnout. Burnout is the most horrible thing that can happen to our spark or drive. Burnout happens when we get too tired, or let down by all of the negative things happening. This is the part when our dream becomes more like a chore. An obligation that we have to finish. Accomplishing our task does not feel fulfilling anymore. The willingness and excitement that we have before in achieving our dreams are just not there.
This happened to Kiki, with the rejection of her services triggering her to fully doubt her capabilities. She even started questioning if it was worth it to continue doing her delivery services. This led to her being unable to fly, a representation of her spark dimming. She is experiencing an artist’s block, wherein there is a slowdown of her creativity.
What We Do With The Burnout: Reflection
We can actually recover from burnout. It also takes time, but it is important to have an introspection to address the situation. You can take a break, or make time for yourself every day by asking the question: what has happened? Why did I experience burnout?
The reason could be various. It is possible that the passion you have is becoming too tiring and you need a break from it. This applies to any creative work because you work your mind every day. It is quite difficult to squeeze out creative juices all the time. A skill-based work can also be physically challenging, and it can pose a strain on our body. As the tiredness seeps it, the dream becomes a chore.
It can also be because you are becoming more dissuaded or discouraged to continue pursuing it. External forces like clients or colleagues not appreciating your efforts are factors. Family and friends with unsupportive opinions can also put a dent on our confidence.
Fortunately, burnout is not permanent but it will be needing an effort on your part to lift yourself up. It depends on you to continue walking down your chosen path. With this, it is important to ask ourselves what our purpose is. What is it that we really wanted… what we hoped to achieve? Why did we want to pursue this dream in the first place? Why does it make us happy?
Remembering the beauty of our dream will help us regain our fire back. The dream that once looked unattainable, like a distant star in the sky. The dream that we had once hoped to obtain, and faced a lot of hardships for.
With Kiki, she had a change of environment and the help of a friend. She decided to take a break, suspending her delivery service temporarily. She reflected on why she wanted to fly in the first place. She thought about her purpose… why does she like flying? Why did she want to have the delivery service?
Eventually, she was able to regain her flying abilities back when she rescued her friend, Tombo, in mid-air. This meant that she wanted to help people through her delivery services, and it is the reason why she wanted to pursue flying. Flying also gives an exhilarating feeling which she really enjoyed. She realized that her purpose is to help people by doing what she’s good and passionate about. This led to her resuming her delivery services with newfound wisdom.
Kiki’s journey is truly relatable to all of us who have dreams and goals in life. It is not an easy journey but it will all be worth it. Nothing can ever truly bring colors to our lives other than trying to live our dreams.