So, I had just got home from a fantastic day at work, made some dinner, and then turned the TV on. Scrolling through the live TV options, I opted for my usual chill out go to, "Friends." I grew up with Friends; as a teen I loved the humour, loved the characters, and wanted to grow up to be ...... a mix between Phoebe and Monica, believe it or not LOL, (Most girls wanted to be Rachel!). I had a mega crush on Chandler, found Ross annoying, and barely rated Joey.
I now rate Joey.
You see, the episode I watched was "The One in Vegas" - a quick synopsis - the gang go to Vegas, Monica and Chandler have a HUGE fight, but make up, Monica is succeeding at gambling and her and Chandler agree that if she wins the next round they'll get married. Ross and Rachel childishly fight on the flight to Vegas, Ross draws on Rachel's face with permanent ink, and they both get drunk and ...... (you'll have to watch to see what happens!). AND Joey, the forever optimist, meets his "Hand Twin" and decides that he is going to get rich.
So how does Joey finding his "Hand Twin" cause me to rate him as a character AND as a role model for us all? It is his eternal optimism, about life, about work, and about relationships that make the case. In this episode Joey proves that you can keep on trying, even when you are knocked back, that you can find opportunity in even the most unusual of places, and that each day you have to be persistent in pursuit of your dreams, even if the world seems against you ..... but let's explore these a little bit deeper.
Joey has gone to Vegas to do a movie, the movie is canceled due to lack of funding, so he get's a job at a casino to "tide" him over until the movie production starts up again. On realising that the movie probably won't get the funding, he takes a casino chip he got as a tip, and decides he is going to use that chip to become rich and fund the movie .... He loses the chip immediately and is bitterly disappointed, but he discovers, in the same moment, that the dealer is his "Hand Twin." He decides that with his "Hand Twin" he is going to become rich, because they will be a hit, with a show (and song .... see below). At each turn, when he is faced with defeat in some way, he is only disappointed for a moment, before his optimistic nature takes over, and he looks for the next opportunity to make his dreams happen.
Joey doesn't close himself off to any opportunity or bright spark of an idea that comes to him - who cares if it seems crazy or impossible. It is with this creative openness to life that means that Joey is optimistic and shows great grit and determination when it comes to chasing after his dreams. And with that grit comes a persistence like no-other, if one harebrained scheme fails, let's try another, and another, and another, until you hit on the one that sticks, that works, that brings you to your potential.
In the sitcoms, "Friends" and "Joey," Joey ultimately moves to LA to pursue his acting career more seriously, perhaps revealing a slightly more mature and grown up approach to life .... but still with his eternal optimism towards pursuing his dreams. "Optimism is the foundation of courage," says Nicholas Butler, American Philosopher and Educator .... Joey is the epitome of optimism and it's resulting outcome of a courageous life. So .... are you ready to be like Joey, to be the Eternal Optimist, to live a courageous life? What are your biggest dreams and how will optimism help you achieve them? Comment below.
"Your Determination is Limitless"
- Elizabeth Wright