I can’t tell you how many times I’ve came up with what I believed was an incredible idea, and either came up with a reason why it wouldn’t work or simply didn’t take any action toward making that idea a reality. I’m sure you have found yourself in the exact same situation. Think about how many times you’ve heard yourself saying one of the following statements…

I am just too busy.

I would love to do (insert goal here) but I just can’t afford it.

That may work for some people but I don’t think it will work for me.

or the infamous …

I will get around to it someday!

I read a statement in an article earlier this year and was compelled to write it on a post it note and stick it to my desk. The statement was, “There is never a lack of good ideas, only a lack of follow through.”

I don’t think there is a statement that could be a truer reflection of REALITY!

Well as I wrote about yesterday I am currently in the Dominican Republic on a mission trip and today was a day that made that statement 1000% more clear in my mind. We started our day eating a HUGE breakfast and jumped in our vans to head over to the school we planned on working on in Herrera.

Herrera is a very poverty stricken part of town. Although the Dominican Republic is a Democracy, almost every leader in the country has turned into a dictatorship. Basically when they get to the end of their four years they get the military on their side and stay in power. One of the longest stints lasted from 1930 until approximately 1961. The main way these leaders lose power is by getting killed. This happened in this case in that same year. When it happened all the land the president owned became government land.

Santo Domingo was very “modern” and had all the amenities not available in the surrounding towns. All the people flocked to Santo Domingo and started “squatting” on this government owned land. They would grab up small little areas and build makeshift homes on their land. The police would come around from time to time and tear down their homes, and once they left, the people would build them again. This happened for some time until the police finally gave up.

Words cannot come near to explaining what this area is like, so I just wanted to give you some background and you can view a bunch of pictures I took while working in the area today. The pictures are located at http://www.facebook.com/petebrand1 .

We spent the day working on the top floor of a Christian School they are building for children in the community. 65% of the children that attend the school are orphans. We poured cement for seven columns that are going to support the roof of the school. It was VERY hard work since there were no machines. We had shovels, buckets, a water hose, sand, gravel, and bags of cement. We had to mix all the cement, sand and gravel with the water using shovels and carry the cement up a ladder by way of a human chain. It was amazing teamwork and we got everything complete! The last team that came down only poured four columns in a day so YAY TEAM! 🙂

We had a chance to hear from some of the students from the school and they let us know what they planned on doing once they were out of school. They aspired to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, designers, social communicators, and a number of other very ambition goals. The amazing thing is they come from families that live in absolute poverty (as you can see in the pictures), but they are very determined to break that cycle and create better lives for their children.

Once we finally returned from our day and dinner at 7:00pm we had the opportunity to hear from Nelson, the Executive Director from Vision Trust, which is the organization that is hosting us. The amazing thing about his story is he came from that exact neighborhood. His mother would make 100 – 200 empanadas each night and his father would walk into the city and sell them in the intersections to cars that drove by. He would often times make only enough money to feed his family for the following day and hopefully enough to make more empanadas for the next day. Nelson was determined to change things and he has in a BIG way.

The children from the school, Nelson, and the incredible children we saw in the neighborhood while we were there, made it very clear to me that we don’t spend enough time focusing on all the incredible opportunities we have. If these people who have absolutely nothing can not only aspire to do great things, but actually accomlish those great things … Why can’t you??

The next time you find yourself making an excuse as to why you can’t accomplish your goals, or find yourself saying “one of these days…” I hope you remember this story and use it to find the motivation to accomplish whatever goal you are looking to achieve. Don’t forget to check out the amazing pictures at http://www.facebook.com/petebrand1 . The pictures are in the “Dominican Republic” folder.