When I completed my last post, I reflected on how I could build on my blog and continue to share my journey. I decided to write on what I have learned during my journey of life and building a business for 25 years and counting. I hope you will find something in each post that will be helpful, inspiring and at times funny. Each post will focus on something I have learned from my journey of life. These are just my thoughts and lessons learned.
The first topic is the importance of having a dream for your life. One of the most important things I have come to believe about having a dream for your life is that it must match what you are passionate about for your career and life. I remember this one situation like it was yesterday. I was close to 13 years old, and my neighbor who was 4 years older than me, named Tony Pennamon had been taking drafting classes. This was back in the day when the students carried a portable drafting board, long before portable computers. People actually did drawings in drafting, no CAD. Anyway, Tony had designed a geodesic dome home and was showing it to me. I remember the excitement in his eyes and his words as he explained his designed. He confirmed for me that day, what I thought for a few years, I wanted to be an architect. Most important I knew I want to have that same kind of excitement in my eyes and my words, when I talked about my life and my work to others. His excitement inspired me and I knew that is how we are meant to be about life, excited. At an early age I knew passion was important to reaching my dreams. As I look back now, and if you read my earlier post, you will see, I have had my shares of ups and downs, but I never gave up on my dreams and my passion of architecture. My passion for architecture and construction were tied to my dream for my life. Even when things seem as though I wouldn’t make it, my passion and my faith pulled me through to get up and try again. I wanted to quit so many times, but the power of my dreams and passion for architecture and construction wouldn’t let me quit. As I reflect now as a 57-year-old man, I can clearly see how a dream tied to your passion is unstoppable from achieving your dream. When those two are tied together, I learned you will not quit, you will study hard, work hard, sweat, cry, suffer through the hard times, second guess yourself, but for some reason, no matter what is thrown in your way, you will keep going until you dream becomes a reality. I must admit now, I have far exceeded my original dream I had for my life. In fact I am trying now to set a new dream for my second half of life. My original dream was to go into architecture, have a small firm, marry a great woman, have two kids, hopefully make a decent living to provide a decent life for my family and be able to do something to help others. My dream included just doing some small projects and just being the regular guy in the neighborhood.
Little did I know how much I would exceed my dreams and how much of my dream would hit 100% on the target. I married a beautiful woman inside and outside, she is a great wife, mother and partner. I have two children, a boy and girl, just liked I dreamed. My kids exceeded my dreams, they are great adults now and just a pleasure to have as my kids. I know one day they will pick a good senior citizen home for my wife and I. They love to remind us they will pick our old folks home one day. I finished architecture school and worked in architecture before realizing my true passion was to take my architectural knowledge into construction. I built a firm from a 1 man firm to over 80 people at our peak and built some incredible projects throughout the southeastern part of the USA. My dream has been exceeded to the point I have to find a new dream. I am so blessed and thankful for my life, even the tough and traumatic things in my life. Those events became building blocks in my life.
I got a call last week from a grandmother that proves that somethings in our lives that are tough or traumatic for us, can be used for good to help others. This grandmother called me to say thank you. I said thank you for what?, she said for telling your story and allowing the article to be written about surviving sexual abuse and thriving through the trauma. I was still lost why the article was helpful to her. She then told me this story. Her grand-daughter really wanted to go to a certain prestigious college, and wasn’t admitted. The grandmother called the school to beg them to reconsider their decision. I was still thinking what could the article have to do with this story about her granddaughter. She then said the article came out that same day and she read it. She sent the article to her granddaughter and the admission officer at the college and ask them to read my article. Then she called them back to tell them the story of her granddaughter. See, her granddaughter had been sexually abused by an instructor early in high school, and her grades suffered and eventually she recovered enough to get her grades back up and become happy again. But the few years her grades suffered took their toll on her chances for a top college. She said the admission officer read my story and then told the admission officer about her granddaughter’s story. They were able to find an opening for her to come to the summer program and if she does well and I know she will, she will be admitted as a freshman this summer. Her grandmother got a little emotional, but she wanted me to know my story helped get her grand-daughter into that college she wanted to attend. She said the article gave her the courage to tell her granddaughter’s story to the admission officer.
This story is one of many I have heard since telling my story of being a sexual abuse survivor. The grandmother’s call confirmed for me. Sometimes we go through hardships in our lives, because we are strong enough to see it through and then help others. I pray each of us realizes we are stronger than we think and we all have a story that can help others overcome a challenge in their lives.
Remember to have a dream and tie that dream to your passion. You will exceed your dream one day. Enjoy the news letter from the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy where I spoke on surviving sexual abuse. Also enjoy a link where I was invited as a guest blogger on work and balance.We are stronger than we think. Make sure to laugh everyday and make someone smile each day. Go for your dreams.
Enjoy the two links and some pictures of nature and projects. Some of the pictures show how dreams we don’t know we have come true. Last week was my 35Th reunion from Morehouse College. I never dreamed I would be a Trustee for the college or on the Platform for graduation with the President of the United States.
Link on work and balance as a guest blogger. www.purelucht.com
Link for newsletter from Georgia Center for Child Advocacy http://mad.ly/8caba3