One of my favourite children’s books of all time is by author Phoebe Gilman. Something from Nothing is a fable of a young Jewish family that is poor and doesn’t have much. Joseph, the young boy in the story, is given given a blanket that he loves and takes with him everywhere. It becomes tattered and torn and his grandfather makes it into a jacket, then a vest, then a tie, then a button. When he loses the button Grandpa believes that there’s nothing else he can make. Joseph disagrees… from the lost button comes a wonderful story.
The story inspires me because everything in life comes from nothing more than an idea. You can trace everything back to one moment of brilliance, usually by one person or maybe just a couple. Think about it; Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, McDonald’s or public health care. It all came from NOTHING but an idea. It took someone to say why not? Instead of we can’t.
I am sitting in a boardroom in a beautiful old church in Ancaster, Ontario. I am on the second floor looking down at a packed room full of camp displays. One of them is ours, YLCC. 2010 will mark our 18th summer. 18 years ago I sat in a make shift boardroom (my mom’s old dining room table) and said to a friend, “Why not?”. What started out as 50 kids for a weekend is now a camp that works with over 8000 youth a year!
What is it that you want to do? Why can’t you do it? For every excuse you make there is a solution. For every solution there is a first step. True it’s easier to say it’s too hard, too expensive, too much competition, too many road blocks. The path of least resistance rarely takes you anywhere interesting. Find it, find your passion. What is it that drives you? What do you want to change in your life, your community, your (our) world. You know you have thought about it! You need to trust yourself.
One small note of caution I want to put out there to all of my younger readers (anyone under the age of 75), the grass always seems greener on the other side. Sometimes it is, rarely though is it true. Make sure you learn all you can from where you are, as my friend Robin Sharma always says you can lead without a title where ever you are. When your ready though, create, create, create! Don’t be afraid to fail!! You might, lord knows (and anyone else who knows me) I have! That’s ok. You learn more from falling flat on your face than you will ever learn in school. Adversity should create new enthusiasm!
So take a moment and truly think. Be honest. Perhaps the next BIG “thing” is whirling around up in your head. You too can create something from nothing! I believe in you.