Building a Dream
Worthy dreams with focused action plans routinely lead to wonderful outcomes. The findings of a Harvard University study revealed that those who focused on, visualized, and took appropriate action steps completed their endeavor with nearly 100% accuracy – while those who did not….only 50% as successful.
Here’s a story of two men each with a big dream, a keen focus on what they wanted to accomplish, and incredible outcomes … and support for Harvard’s study of the value of visualizing.
As adapted from Darren Hardy’s ‘Be Foolish,” in Success Magazine this first guy was no scholastic achiever but he had a big dream. He looked a bit “dorky,” and some of his classmates teased him harshly. Rather than read his assignments for school, the kid spent his time on his dream, shooting 8 mm movies of wrecks of his Lionel train set and creating small shows for his friends.
He dropped out of high school his sophomore year. And when his parents persuaded him to return to school, he says administrators assigned him to a learning-disabled class. He quit again after a month. Only when the family moved to another town did he graduate from high school.
He applied to film school but was refused admission, so he enrolled at California State College at Long Beach. His story took a dramatic turn in 1965, when on a visit to Universal Studios he met Chuck Silvers, an executive in the editorial department. Silvers liked the kid who made the oddball 8 mm films. So he invited the kid to come back to visit some time.
The kid appeared the next day. Without a job or security clearance, but focused on his dream, he confidently walked up to the security guard at Universal’s gate while wearing his only suit and carrying a briefcase with nothing inside but a sandwich and candy bars. He waived and the guard waived back. He was in.
All summer he wore this one suit and hung out with the directors and writers, including Silvers, who knew the kid wasn’t a studio employee but winked and looked the other way. The wannabe filmmaker found an unused office and became a squatter and loves to tell how he bought plastic tiles and put this entry in the building directory: “Steven Spielberg, Room 23C.”
Well, his dreaming paid off. Ten yours later, at age 28, Spielberg directed Jaws, which took in $470 million, setting a record as the highest-grossing file at that point in Hollywood history. Of course, dozens of films and awards have followed, all because Spielberg focused on, and acted on, what many would have thought was impossible – and he continues to dream big, attempts the impossible – and pulls it off creating blockbuster after blockbuster.
There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask “Why?” I dream of things that never were, and ask “Why not?”
– Robert F. Kennedy paraphrase of George Bernard Shaw
Joe Plasse is a big man with an enormous heart who shares with many an even bigger dream. He is a skilled tradesman and valuable resource in many fields who 16 years ago made his first journey to the City of Laromana in the Dominican Republic to evaluate the plot of land donated by the sugarcane industry for the creation of a hospital that would serve the needs of the poor and impoverished around the island. When this first crew stepped onto the site what they found left many dumbfounded and speechless. One of the doctors spoke up and said, “Joe, this is like putting a band-aid on cancer. This can’t be done.” What they found themselves looking at was a tract of land that had been the City’s waste landfill.
What had initially sounded like a wonderful gift and opportunity to build a much needed hospital that would serve the great needs of the wonderful people of the sugarcane villages now looked more like a thoughtless bad joke.
But Joe and a few others saw past the garbage and debris and there in their minds eye, so faintly, stood the proposed four story hospital originally envisioned by Jean Luc Phanord. They regrouped and devised a plan that included months and months of clean up, exterminating rats and pests, and all that was needed to prepare the lot for what it would one day become. It has now been 16 years and over 30 trips for Joe and while the hospital is still under construction the dream has become a reality block by block and bucket by bucket.
There isn’t a volunteer that has invested more of his/her heart and soul into the project than Joe and his efforts have been multiplied many times by others resulting in this endeavor now becoming one of the largest non-profit missions in the world. Jean Luc once declared, “God doesn’t add or subtract – he multiplies.” If he could only see today the results of such multiplication – there are now different Rotary Clubs, church groups, and service groups on sight more than 40 weeks of the year completing the dream. Horace Mann offered, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” With two floors completed including an emergency room, pharmacy, operating rooms, outpatient and inpatient care, a pediatric unit, etc. the hospital has now served hundreds of thousands of clients and provides an outreach effort most days to the Sugarcane villages with dental and medical care and the success of the Good Samaritan Hospital project is becoming a wonderful victory for so many.
Dream small or dream big…but dream. Too few of us have clear areas of focus in our lives and instead we sit in front of the tube watching others live their lives. We watch others cook, lose weight, date, flip houses, take on challenges, compete in amazing races, and dance – while we let life dance us by.
Take some time to re-evaluate your dreams, write them down and take action. Include how you can have a bigger impact on those around you and win your own victory for humanity – big or small. With nearly 100% accuracy what we dream about, visualize, and take action on can come true. As Walt Disney shared, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”