Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Seeing is Believing

Chris grew up with a large family of eleven brothers and sisters in Long Island, NY.  I met Chris and his twin brother in high school, when I gave them a tour of the military academy I was attending. They decided to enroll, and Chris and I became good friends.  A few years later, we both graduated with the rank of Captain, and it seemed our friendship would continue forward when we both decided to attend Fordham University in New York. 

When Chris arrived on the first day of college, they didn’t have a room for him, so he shared my dorm room for a month.  After graduating, Chris and I rented an apartment together in the Bronx. The place was a slum, and one night the ceiling collapsed, missing Chris’ bed by just inches. We complained to the superintendent, but he gave no indication that he was going to fix it.  A few days later, the kitchen ceiling collapsed while I was cooking dinner.  This time, we told the super that we wouldn’t pay the rent until he repaired the place. Living with two huge holes in our ceiling for months, we saved our rent money until we could afford a new place in Manhattan.

We both married girls we met in college, had kids, and moved forward with our lives.  While we remained friends throughout the years, we didn’t see each other very often, primarily because I had moved to Atlanta. It was during our 20-year college reunion that I learned Chris had divorced and was looking for a career change. I invited him to Atlanta to work with the 7 Mindsets team.  Here is where the story gets inspiring.

After flying to Atlanta for an interview, Chris walked around a bit to see if he liked the neighborhood. Stumbling onto a small street, he spotted an old house that was in need of a lot of work. Chris had always wanted to live in a turn of the century home that he could restore, and he immediately envisioned himself living in this house. However, the sign on the front lawn read, “Condemned due to black mold.”  The house was for sale, but no one wanted to buy it because the city had marked it for demolition.  This didn’t dissuade Chris though, because at one point in his life, he had actually been a mold remediation expert. He decided to make an offer.

Although his offer was accepted, it was not going to be an easy transaction, because finding a bank willing to approve a loan to buy a condemned house is next to impossible.  In fact, it took more than a year, something Chris never expected.  However, as the loan process dragged slowly forward, Chris began to visualize his dream home.  He pictured what it would look like after he restored it and moved in, even adding an image of meeting someone special to share his new life with.  To help with his visualization, he rented a room in the house directly across the street.  In the evenings, he would sneak into the condemned house to work on removing the mold. On the weekends, he cleaned up the yard.

Realizing that he needed a small truck to transport supplies and haul away trash, Chris purchased one and began parking it in the driveway of his dream home. Every morning he would wake up and look across the street to see his truck parked in the driveway of the house he was trying to buy.  Now that’s visualization!

One evening at a fundraising dinner, Chris met a woman that took his breath away.  After just a short conversation with her, he told me that he wanted to marry a woman just like her.  When I heard this, I looked at Chris and told him that she was actually the sister of the woman he was renting his room from.  He laughed at the coincidence, but I couldn’t help but think of the serendipity of it all.

This weekend, I attended the wedding of my long-time friend Chris to his beautiful new wife, Maria.  After the reception, they returned to their dream home that Chris ultimately purchased and has been restoring.  It’s a fairy tale ending that has been in the works for decades, as Maria and her sister always dreamed of someday living across the street from one another, which they now do.  But something tells me this fairy tale is just beginning…

What’s this week’s message?  Dreams come true when you can see them in your mind, believe them in your heart, and passionately take action.  I hope I get to write your story someday!

Until next week...

Live Your Dreams

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