We build a lot of rock walls with our construction company, and over the years I have noticed how it is like building the life you want to live. I have experience in constructing my ideal life because I made my dreams come true with my company. Will Smith said it best: To follow your dream you must put one brick in the wall at a time. But I heard him say that long after I discovered this metaphor. Stone masons around Canada build garden walls and retaining walls all the time, but that doesn’t mean all of them are leading the lives of their dreams.
My favorite way to explain to young people of how to get your life on the track it needs to be on is to compare it to a rock wall not because of the one brick at a time metaphor but because of integrity. You want your rock wall to be strong just like you want the foundation of your career to be strong. Also, like a man’s legacy, you want your rock wall to last as long as possible. When you build a successful construction company you want heirs to take over it so that it will still exist long after you are gone.
Another metaphor to compare is knowing why you built that wall in the first place. You do not just build a rock wall anywhere, like on the middle of the street. Successful people do not just waste time doing things that they know will get them nowhere, and that would be like building a retaining wall out of soap so that the ocean can wash it away. Stone masons build walls to stop deer from scampering in your berry patch or so that the neighbors cannot see you swimming naked in your pool. The point is they were built for a reason, even if that reason is just to look good with some landscaping. So to learn from this metaphor you must do specific acts and know the reason why you’re doing them in order to build the life you want. And that’s that!