I was on my way to a funeral that afternoon, for the father of a close friend. So I was dressed all in black, unprepared for the festive event about to happen.
We stopped by Brad Pitt’s house for a half hour, because our construction crew was working on the swimming pool we were building for Mr. Pitt. Getting the permit for the job had been my task — and it turned out not to be a quick trip to the downtown Los Angeles Building and Safety Department that I had anticipated.
As happens with many projects that we leap in and say “oh, I can do that” without first evaluating the situation and what’s involved, getting that building permit turned out to be a massive snarl of red tape. I had to go back downtown in heavy traffic again and again, for more meetings with the various inspectors and officials who had to sign off on the building plans before Building and Safety would issue a permit.
Until we got the permit, no work could proceed. Not even the demolition and removal of the heart-shaped swimming pool that had been built on the property in 1923. It had to be jackhammered and the debris hauled away before the hillside property could be graded for the new pool and the multiple tiers of waterfalls that would be flowing down into it.
But just the day before, I had finally managed to get that building plan approved, and get the all-important permit in my hot hands. Now our crew was busy at work, and the project, which had been delayed for several weeks because of the complications presented in the permit process, was finally underway!
I had only been to the job site a couple of times. Each time, Brad Pitt was out of town, on location filming a new movie. I didn’t expect to ever meet him.
But that day… he was not only home, he came out to say hello.
And when he found out that I was the one who had managed to finally get the permit for the new pool, he shook my hand firmly, gave me that dazzling warm smile of his, looked right in my eyes and said (drum roll please): WAY TO GO, EVELYN!!!
Wow, no wonder this guy remains popular year after year. He was genuinely pleased with my small part in his project. If you’re a Brad Pitt fan, you already know that before his film career he was studying to be an architect. So he was very interested in restoring the old house on this property he had purchased in the Los Angeles area (no, I’ll never tell you the address so don’t bother to pester me), and he was thrilled that the pool was underway.
That was a dream he had: creating beauty where the house and yard was ramshackle and neglected. Not just tearing out and replacing with something modern, but restoring and improving an old house and its gardens.
We can all learn from that — when you have a dream, don’t let the delays in getting “permits” hold you up or derail you. Maybe “permits” in your case means a degree you want to earn to get a particular job you have your heart set on, but it seems like too big of a dream and you’re ready to give up. Or maybe “permits” is your own litany of “I can’t do that” messages in your own mind.
If a dream is calling to you, it means it is calling you to bring it forth. You’ve been given the task. Now go do it. And tell yourself each day that you take even one step closer to your dream: WAY TO GO!!!
In my new novel THE DREAM SPINNERS, Jemma Powell is an astronaut-candidate who is about to qualify for a space mission when her teenage son dies, and she decides to give up her dream. Find out how she gets back on track in this visionary and mystical novel that I truly believe you will find inspirational, heartwarming and uplifting.
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