We may not know what inspires our dreams, but there is proof that anything is possible if we take steps to make our dreams come true.
Dream. Plan. Achieve.
“You need dreams to live. They are as essential as a road to walk and bread to eat.”
At 7:00 am, on August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit, a French national, took the first of many steps he would walk during a historic high-wire performance across a 131-foot inch-thick steel wire that connected the north and south towers of the World Trade Center 1,350 feet above New York City. This is the story of the dream and how it came to fruition.
Born in 1949, Philippe Petit began performing as a magician and street juggler when he was 6. By 1968, he had decided to add wire-walking to his act, but he hadn’t yet begun learning the craft. That year, during a fateful trip to his dentist, as he sat in the waiting room, he opened a magazine and saw a sketch of the World Trade Center, which was in its initial building stages. He had an epiphany that he was destined to wire-walk between the Twin Towers. Instead of waiting for his appointment, he ripped the image out of the magazine and left the dental office and set in play the events that would enable him to realize his dream.
For the next eight years, Philippe’s vision became more concrete as he developed the skills that enabled him to become a professional wire-walker. He began training on low wires, increasing the height and distance of his walks in anticipation of his trip between the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. He also built up his reputation and name by successfully wire-walking between the two towers of Notre-Dame in Paris in 1971 and the two supporting towers of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1973.
Like Philippe, you have dreams. Your challenge is to move to transform them into reality. Doing so requires planning and resources that may come from other people and/or money.
Although he’d been gearing up for the walk between the towers by perfecting his craft since 1968, the most significant on-site planning for Philippe’s World Trade Center performance began in January of 1974 when he visited the Twin Towers for the first time. Between that January and his August performance, he hired a photographer to take photographs of the Towers from a helicopter that would allow him to build a scale model, secured financial support, and recruited a team of supporters who helped him enter the buildings, solve logistical challenges that included making accommodations for the wind, getting the 440-pound wire up to the roof of the Trade Center and devising a way to get the wire across the gap between the two buildings by tying it to a rope attached to an arrow they would fire from the south to the north tower.
Planning is the most crucial aspect of achieving a dream or goal. According to Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, individuals are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if they write it down. Once you’ve written down your goal, you’ll need to break it into steps, determine how long each step will take, who might be able to assist you in making it happen, and if there’s a financial cost to achieving your dream, how much money it will take.
While there are dreams that don’t require funding, most have some financial cost. If this is the case, you may find it helpful to find a financial advisor. A good advisor is in the best position to help you determine the future cost of your dreams and recommend an investment strategy to ensure your dreams come true.
For the past 22 years, the World Trade Center has been associated with the tragic events in September 2001. That day we lost thousands of people, our national sense of security and the buildings themselves. But there are also highlights in the Trade Center’s short life. One of them is Philippe Petit’s 1974, 45-minute high-wire performance 49 years ago. That unexpected, unplanned public relations event proved to be the turning point in the Trade Center’s fortunes because, amazingly, after Petit’s high-wire walk, the buildings began filling with tenants and lived up to its original vision of becoming the financial center of the world.
Philippe Petit accomplished his dream of wire-walking between the towers of the World Trade Center. Although his dream came out of the blue, once he saw it in his mind, he immediately knew it was a dream he had to fulfill and eight years later, he did. Like Philippe Petit, you also have dreams. Just as he achieved his dream, you can achieve yours. So, open yourself up to all possibilities, dream your dreams, devise a plan to make them come true, and watch them unfold!