I’m almost embarrassed to tell this story but there is actually a point.

My mother retired about 20 years ago from a job that she had been working on for about 30 years. After she retired her friends and loved ones gave her a retirement party. At the retirement party there was plenty of laughter and plenty of tears. Apparently my mother had a huge impact on a lot of people. Throughout her retirement party many people had given her quite a few gifts. But, there was one gift that was very special to her. A few of her friends and co-workers had prepared a speech and  got together and bought her this beautiful 24 Karat gold herringbone bracelet. My mother is a tough lady but when they gave the speech and gave her this bracelet, as tough as my mother is she shed a few tears behind it. She really cherished this bracelet, not so much for the monetary value. She cherished this bracelet because of the sentimental and emotional value that was attached to it. She was friends with and worked with some of the people who gave it to her for 25 30 years. So there was a lot of emotion and time and history attached to this bracelet.

I happened to have an event or some sort of dressy affair that I was going to shortly after my mothers retirement party and I asked her if I could borrow her gold bracelet and she was hesitant but I begged and begged. She finally said yes. But, not before giving me the “Be careful. this bracelet means a lot to me” disclaimer. So after telling my mom how careful I would be and promising that I would take care of her bracelet and promising that I wouldn’t lose it or let anything happen to it, she let me borrow it. I took it and put it on and went on my merry way with her prized bracelet. At the time I was working for the County and I was working on a garbage truck. So I came in that night from my event and I ran out the next morning and went to my job and came home. The next day my mother asked me for her bracelet back and I had forgotten all about it. I forgot that I even borrowed it or had it on.  I checked my wrist and my heart sank. The bracelet wasn’t on my wrist. I did the best I could to retrace all of my steps but I couldn’t find the bracelet anywhere. I felt absolutely horrible. She cherished this bracelet. It had sentimental and emotional value attached to it that I could never replace. She put her prized possession in my hands and I carelessly lost it.

In hindsight I believe that maybe I lost it because it wasn’t mine. I didn’t have the same emotional attachment that she had to it. I wasn’t friends for 20 or 30 years with the people who gave it to her like she was. The bracelet didn’t have the same sentimental value to me as it did to her so in my childish immature mind I didn’t care for it or take the same cautions with it that she would have as the actual owner of it. It didn’t mean to me what it meant to her.

Years later I recalled this story when I had a business idea and a dream that I was working on. I had a plan to build this business from the ground up and there were a few people whose help I needed to get the idea off the ground. These were people that I felt that I could leave my dreams in their hands. They told me “Yeah, no doubt! I got you kid! I got you! I can help you with this! I can do this for you  and I’m gonna do that for you!”. They told me a whole bunch of stuff which led me to believe that I would be able to trust them to develop and nurture and take care of my dream just like I would. I trusted that my dreams were being left in good hands. Time went on and I would call the people whose hands I left my dreams to follow up and see how things were going, and would get no answer, I would text and get no response, I would leave voice mails and no return calls. What I have learned is that NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE WILL CARE FOR AND NURTURE AND PROTECT YOUR DREAM LIKE YOU! No one has the emotional ties to your dream like you do. No one has spent as much time with your dream as you have. Your dream doesn’t have the same emotional sentimental value to others as it does to you. NO ONE WILL EVER CARE ABOUT YOUR SUCCESS OR YOUR FULFILLING YOUR DREAMS LIKE YOU! I have learned that if you leave your dreams in other peoples hands, your dreams will end up in the garbage truck, your dreams will be left in the trunk of someone’s car. If left in other peoples hands your dreams will be under the front seat of someone’s car with old French fries and cookie crumbs stuck to them.

I have learned that when YOU have a dream it is YOUR duty and YOUR obligation to protect it and to make sure it comes true. Be extra careful about whose hands YOU leave YOUR dream in. YOUR success or YOUR failure is on YOU. Don’t leave your dreams in anyone else’s hands and count on or depend on ANYONE to make YOUR dreams come true. People are busy and have their own lives and priorities and YOUR dreams will be put on the back burner of other peoples lives. Delegate, maybe ask for help when you need it but do not put your dreams in other peoples hands and expect for others or depend on other people to make YOUR dreams come true. TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN DREAMS! As much as people love/like you, your dreams will never mean as much to them as they do to you.

I have learned that being able to blame someone for your failure is not the same thing as success.

Keep in mind that…

Responsibility is the price of greatness.
-Winston Churchill
The mould of a man’s fortune is in his own hands.
-Francis Bacon





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