“Lose your dreams, and you could lose your mind.”
I hung flyers in shopping malls with a friend, trying to build something from nothing. We drove around to every strip mall – taping our signs like crazy, trying to get attention for our idea.
Years later, flying what seemed like endless miles to raise money. Scraping together my life savings, to start a company.
A dream that no matter how it evolves, I can proudly say,
And for that, I am eternally grateful to all those who have supported me.
People that stuck with me --- through thick and thin.
All the employees who did not work out, or just did not work. All the people who laid the groundwork, in order for me to, attempt to achieve my dream. All of the people who have made me a better person --- folks that gave me a chance.
But, the secret is --- I had no dream. No real goals, and no real plan.
Don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.
There is no planning – no business plan, or roadmap.
There are bumps, pitfalls, valleys, and most of all – death at every turn --- danger at my door.
No one will tell you that. No one will utter the words,
“I want you to fail.”
They do – but don’t say it out loud.
After all, that would be rude.
We have all been programmed to make every attempt, not to be rude.
Don’t be rude. And, make a plan.
That is what I learned in most of my years in school, in one variation or the other.
It was 2am on a September evening. I was walking into my dorm after a night out.
The air was warm.
As I walked toward my dormitory entrance, I noticed a commotion in front of the building. There was a lot of screaming and banging on the doors leading into Schine Hall.
2 men, trying to get in the glass doors. 2 men pacing, and banging their fists against the glass.
A woman on the other side, begging me NOT TO OPEN the door – begging me not to let them in. A frightened look on her face, like I’ve never seen.
I lived there. I lived in a room past those glass doors. This was my home.
One of them said to me, “Open the door now, or we will take your key from you.”
The woman on the other side was crying, her clothes looked ripped --- and she was clearly panicked, and very afraid. I recognized her as a classmate, and someone who I knew lived in the dorm with me……
However, the men were banging angrily, on the glass doors around me trying to get the woman on the other side of the glass doors……
These were not students.
I told them to back up – I wasn’t letting them in – and I wasn’t giving them my key.
One of them began to reach into his pocket, as he moved closer to me.
Instinctively, I snapped. I felt like he was going for something (perhaps a knife) in his pocket.
I lashed out and began pummeling the man who approached me.
I hit him with a left across his jaw– that sent him backwards down a flight of concrete stairs, and watched him hit his head on the way down. It was like slow motion -- watching his head hit the stairs……
The man who I hit, lay motionless on the ground. Not moving.
The other man came at me as well, seeing his friend was injured.
I managed to pin him (the other man) down --- and hold him in a headlock for about 30 seconds, but it seemed like 10 years.
The police came, and then the ambulance arrived, to take way the injured man that I had struck., who had landed on his head. The man lying on the ground – not moving was being attended to frantically by the medical people.....
I watched them load him onto a stretcher – as they lifted him (still motionless) into the ambulance.
He went into a coma.
The man’s coma lasted for 6 days.
But, not before I spent 7 days --- at various times, in a police station telling my story, precisely and exactly --- to a multitude of investigators, detectives, and officers.
I had no attorney, because I felt like I had done nothing wrong.
When the man pulled through, and emerged from his injury – I was told by a police officer ---
“Had he died, we would have been forced to charge you with something ---- manslaughter, murder, or something that addressed the fact that a young man died --- intentional or not, by your actions.”
It sent a chill up my spine.
That very chill, lives inside me to this day.
The constant reminder of how fast everything can be taken away, in an innocent instant.
Those glass doors in my dorm that night protected a young woman, from her aggressors.
In my life, the only glass door I have is my family, and my confidence and passion in believing and acting upon what I believe to be right.
And, many times “acting upon what is right” requires you to make the decision in a split second. The right decision for you.......
Without a plan. Without a net below you to protect you when you fall.
You see, I’ve got no plan, and no dreams.
They don’t teach “instinct” in school – but it is the most used, and least taught, quality necessary to be successful.
It’s better than a plan.
It is your glass door.