Making a Leap: Have Faith in Yourself

making a leap

On an unseasonable rainy morning last month in San Simeon, my friend Mindy and I boarded a bus that would take us up the very long and windy road to the Hearst Castle. As the bus chugged its way up the hill, hanging perilously (it seemed) over the edges of the narrow road, we passed exotic animals, enjoyed the California chaparral, and caught a few peeks of the ocean below through the clouds. Right at the top, the castle came into view.

What is still an awe-inspiring view must have been even more so in the years that William Randolph Hearst visited the site as a child. The land had been in the family for years and in 1919 he decided to build on it. As the story goes, he asked architect Julia Morgan to build him nothing fancy, just a little summer cottage.

Twenty eight years later, the cottage had grown into what is now known as Hearst Castle atop 250,000 acres of land with 165 rooms and 123 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways showcasing Hearst’s legendary art collection. This undertaking all began with those little words, “what if.”

Why am I musing on this today? While I was there, I was intrigued by the vision that drove Hearst and Morgan (who worked massive hours on this project) over 28 years. So many of us start something and quit at the first roadblock, or just run out of steam. And we have far less challenges than this project had!

Consider: Just how did they get those massive Italian fireplaces and church pews not only up the hill, but shipped from Europe? We go into shock when we hear a new dishwasher will take a month for delivery!

Then there are the thousands of tiles and architectural details in the two pools, the massive amounts of stonework, the three guest houses, a mile-long pergola, not to mention the engineering and time it took to bring gas, electricity and water to the remote ranch land.

And then there is Morgan herself, who was told because she was a woman she would NOT be able to go to architecture school. When they did agree to admit her (she was the first woman to be attend L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris) she was behind in the program and had to complete the six-year study in three years, which she did.

As the first woman architect licensed in California, Morgan is an inspiration — someone who set high goals for herself and attained them. She worked on the Hearst project while also designing 800 other projects. It makes my goals pale in comparison and yet, also makes them seem absolutely doable!

And yes, I know what you might be thinking — Hearst had family ties, buckets of money, and a prominent business that put him in touch with every industry magnet and VIP of the time.

That said, we all have our own stories, our own set of skills, opportunities, and challenges. It’s up to us to make the journey, even if it takes us less (or more) than 28 years to build our own castle on a hill.

It all begins by making a leap. As Steve Harvey says in this video, every successful person has jumped at some point in their life. Have you made a leap? Are you in the middle of doing so? Or are you standing on the edge of the cliff and just about ready to make your big leap?

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