Knowing I was going to marry my wife came pretty quick after just starting to date her. But when I finally decided it was time to pop the question, I knew it had to be perfect and I started to plan! It was like I turned into Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, unrolling sketched out mastermind plots to create the perfect proposal. But first things first, I had to get the ring. And of course THAT HAD to be perfect. Immediately I began to draw out what I thought she might like. After a few drafts I finally landed on something I knew was good, folded the sketch in my hands, smashed it in my pocket and rushed to the jewelry store. Nervously I entered a room full of glass cases and skeptical store workers with faces that seemed to mulling over in their minds whether or not I was going to be a good use of their time. I tried to pretend like I’ve done this before but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t fooling anyone. I looked around on my own for a bit until finally one of the workers asked if I needed help. I quickly explained that I wanted to propose and that I had this idea for a ring and showed off my doodle and asked if they had anything that was similar to that. The worker frowned, looked at the wrinkled paper and started to scan the rings in the cases. She would glance at the paper and scan, glance a the paper and scan some more. All while saying that she didn’t think they did because-and then suddenly stopped and reached into a glass box and pulled out THE RING. There it was! What I drew…in the flesh! The worker seemed just as surprised as I was! You could tell that all the stars had aligned and all of heaven were smiling down on this very moment. And then I thought, “There is no way it’s that easy.” So I handed back the ring and said I had to think about it. You might be thinking the same thing that the worker was saying with her face. And that was, “What!? Are you kidding me!?” I know! It was kind of stupid. But I had worked three jobs at the same time to save up for this ring. It just seemed too easy. So I searched jewelry store after jewelry store after jewelry store. I don’t mean to sound redundant but THE RING HAD TO BE PERFECT! I had to make sure I wasn’t missing anything better to give to my bride and honestly I didn’t find anything that was as good as that ring at the very first jewelry store I went to.
It makes me think how huge that is to do to a lot of things in life. Let me balance and say not everything NEEDS to be perfect. But striving for the best is very important. If you want to deliver your best work or be the best (fill in the blank) or however this idea fits you, then you HAVE to go past “what works”. You have to go past the “good enough”. You even have to go past the “really good” and explore how to make that whatever in your life even better. Or at the very least, find out that there aren’t any better options out there so that you know you landed at the best.
At the end of it all, I eventually went back to that first jewelry store and bought that first ring and proposed like boss!
And after she asked what I was doing…she said yes.
Days spent fishing, riding bikes, exploring nearby forests, building forts, jumping off quarry cliff faces, shooting guns, camping, bonfires, outdoor projector movie nights, fireworks, snow-day snowboarding, hockey games on frozen lakes, going to school on snowmobiles, ding-dong-ditch the physics teacher and day dreaming of everything and nothing while finishing my paper route. Growing up was THE BEST. Every word listed above REALLY can describe my childhood. Listing it like that sounds like the makings of a Sandlot wanna-be movie pitch. And it’s easy to sigh and say, “Those were the glory days.” I can’t speak for everyone but I would assume most can look back at their childhood and say something similar. Young, wild and free. It’s funny; when growing up, you’re so ready to be a grown up. And it takes forever! And then when you’re grown up, your left with the question, “What happened!?”
There’s this scene in Hook where Wendy Lady looks at Robin Williams and says, “So Peter you became a Pirate… Have you forgotten who you are?” Isn’t that life? The grown up world has this thing where it slowly strips you of your need for adventure and fun. It’s easy to get caught up in to-dos and task lists and paying bills and other things grown ups get caught up in. Seriously, you can come up with a HUGE boring list!
Hook – 1991
The spark for adventure can be so easily stifled when you forget to enjoy life. Going back to Hook, after Tinker-bell kidnaps Robin Williams and brings him to the Lost Boys in Never land, the Lost Boys are trying to figure out if he’s Peter Pan or not. Most of them don’t see it, except for one. One of the boys grabs Robin’s face and says, “Oh there you are Peter.” What’s awesome about that statement is that the kid sees The Adventure was still in him! He just forgot who he was. That’s so common today. At least it is for me. This life was made to be enjoyed. No where was it written that it was suppose to be easy but MEANT to be good. “I have come to give life and life to the fullest.” Jesus said that. It’s true! Being married and having a dog and paying rent and being grown up doesn’t have to be boring! And it’s not about going back and being childish either. It’s about being Childlike. Living without fear, nothing holding us back, with our head in the clouds but our feet on the ground, enjoying every aspect of our one and only life! Have fun with your job. Challenge yourself. Push the limits of your creativity. Do something that matters. LOVE every minute of it! #dowhatyoulove
That one time I faked this jump in Garden of the Gods.
There’s nothing more thrilling AND nerve-racking for a creative than reaching beyond your grasp. If you’re like me, then good isn’t good enough. I’ve developed a habit of getting myself in situations where I have to deliver a product that I have no idea how to do. It all starts with the phrase, “That’s cool but do you know what would be REALLY cool, what if we…” Then I’m trapped. Locked into an idea that was blurted out with boyish excitement not realizing what it might take to complete it. Just about every time I do this, there’s a moment where I kick myself for opening my big mouth. But in the end there has yet to be a time where I regret it. Yes, every time I complete a project that starts this way there has always been something about it that drives me absolutely crazy. “If I would have shot it this way” “I should have thought of this” “I wish I had just little more time to do this…” There’s always something. However, I have always learned something new. Some new way to edit. A new perspective on the message of the project. Something new about myself. It’s all about the challenge. It’s all about the question, “Do I have what it takes.”
Can you relate? Do you put yourself in situations where you are looking for that answer? Are you reaching beyond your grasp? How do you grow? How do you get better? If you find yourself saying, “I don’t” Then I suggest you accept the challenge and TAKE THE LEAP.