Here's how you build something BIG...

italy duomo.jpg

I’m filming in Florence, Italy this week. 

When the architect designed Il Duomo di Firenze in 1294, his plans included a giant dome.  At the time, the technology didn’t exist to actually construct the dome he envisioned, but he launched out in faith that someone would figure it out when it was time.  Over 100 years later, when the rest of the basilica was complete, a different architect engineered a solution for the dome.  You can see the beautiful accomplishment behind me. 

Maybe you have an extraordinary dream in your heart, but you can’t envision how you will complete it.  Don’t let that stop you.  Most of the great innovators and world changers couldn’t see all the solutions when they began.  And for most of them, the final vision turned out to be different and much better than they first imagined.  They found the best answers during the adventure.

So, get started.  You can begin right now without knowing exactly how to finish the dome.  You are smart, other people will help, and the solution will be there when you need it.    

I was frustrated...

I was frustrated tonight when we found an envelope in our mailbox that should have been delivered down the street. I felt so inconvenienced while walking 6 doors down to deliver it correctly. Then, I rang the doorbell & made a new friend. 

I hope the postal employee makes another mistake tomorrow.

Helping Each Other Get Home

Yesterday, I helped a 2-year-old boy who was lost & frightened. He was shaking, with tears in his eyes, but he wasn’t making a sound. I had my own plans, & I almost missed him.

I asked, “Are you lost?” He reached out his arms, so I picked him up. I asked him a few more questions, but he didn’t answer. He just squeezed me more tightly. I repeated, "Everything is OK. I'm going to help you. You're not alone."

It took us about 5-minutes to find his Dad. By the time we did, the boy was gripping me so tightly, we had a hard time detaching him.

The experience reminded me of this:

  • There are people everywhere who need love. Don’t be too focused on your own mission to see them.
  • Sometimes, the people who need the most love don’t ask & never make a sound. Look for them. Convince them they are not alone. 
  • We all have moments where we lose sight of our Father. The greatest gift we can give is to help each other get home.

Keep Going

I'm in Minneapolis this week producing films for the 100th anniversary of a successful family-owned company.

In one of the interviews, an executive said: "We've survived the Great Depression, multiple recessions, & countless failed projects. Looking back at all the challenges we have overcome gives us strength to look ahead with confidence & belief."

Today, take a minute to think about the past difficulties you have conquered & learned from. Each of them is evidence that you have the resilience & capacity to work through whatever you are facing right now. 

Your past has been preparing you for this moment.   Keep going.

Today's Struggles are Preparing You

During a rare trip to Starbucks last night, I had an out-of-body experience. Tricia & I sat next to a young 'wedding filmmaker' who was trying to sell his services to a bride & her mom.

As I listened to him talk about his work & answer their questions, I was 22-years-old again, re-living my experience starting my own business.

I remembered meetings in countless coffee shops & living rooms - sometimes 3 appointments an evening to sell $600 wedding videos. I remembered hiding my ugly, dented car down the street so it wouldn't affect my credibility. I remember wrestling huge family dogs at kitchen tables while maintaining a smile as I explained the difference between the Gold & Silver video packages.

I remembered being bluntly rejected because I was too young & inexperienced. I remembered driving 90 minutes in traffic for an appointment where a father-of-the-bride told me I was was too expensive & I wasn't "worth it".

Those experiences in the early years of my work are the foundation of who I am now. It wasn't glamorous. Most days, I felt embarrassed & inadequate. But I learned how to build something from nothing. I discovered how to communicate about my passion. I realized that grand ideas start rough & develop during the process... but you must have the courage to begin.

The difficulties of the past trained me to pursue my dreams today.

Last night, that young wedding filmmaker at Starbucks gave me a gift without knowing it. He reminded me that my current difficulties are the education I need to realize the passions & future journeys I haven't even uncovered in myself yet.

Please know this for certain... Today's struggles are preparing you for beautiful things.

A moment that mattered

After I finished speaking in Texas yesterday, a man came up to me with a tear in his eye.

He said, "I've been alive for 60 years. I've heard lots of positive messages in my life, but this moment is the first time I have been convinced that I really have enough inside me to be a hero. Thank you for opening a new door for the rest of my life."

So, the trip was totally worth it.

We Have Enough

A few weeks ago, my son Logan & I discussed his Christmas list. He said, “Here are some things that would be fun to have. But I know our family is doing some important things right now, and I understand if we don’t have the money for presents. I already have enough.”

That deserved a big hug!

Before we unwrap a single present this week, we already have enough. In fact, most of us have SO much that we can shift our focus from getting more to being a superhero for someone else.