When Dreams Become Reality

Daring to do what you dreamed to do as a kid can pay off in a big way.

by Pete Ferguson

As a kid, I loved to play with Lego plastic bricks. They were a door to  a world of imagination, exploration, and fun.

Over the years I collected many different sets and was always on the lookout for more tires and other parts that moved to allow for greater variations.

One of the best things that happened to my Lego addiction was the birth of my baby brother, Mark. I was eleven at the time and it gave me an “excuse” to continue to play for many more years.

It was fun to teach Mark the ins and outs of organization and construction. The “best thing” was repeated again as I’ve had children. Now our collection takes up three sets of plastic drawers and each child has their own selection.

As a kid, I had heard a rumor that there were Lego Masters, but didn’t know what it took to become one. As it turns out, there are only four official Lego Master Model Builders – who work for Lego and help drive the company’s vision. The interview process is very different than your standard Corporate America gig.

Resumes aren’t very important, creativity is key. Twenty-three-year-old Andrew Johnson of Illinois is the newest — and youngest — to earn the title.

Instead of filling out an employment application, Johnson submitted a stop-animation video featuring a Lego catapult firing a boulder at a dragon. On the basis of that video, he was chosen to battle other candidates in a three-round build-off in front of an audience of kids and parents.

Aside from the official Lego company builders, there are also a number of other master artisans who have left traditional jobs to “play” with plastic bricks.

In an earlier posting, I talked about Nathan Sawaya who left his schooling and career as a lawyer and now holds the distinction of being the first lego artisan to have a solo museum exhibit.

While I still like to create with blocks, I do not desire to build Legos as a profession. However, I do understand the transferable skills – organization, getting the right pieces in the right place, creative problem solving, and the satisfaction of building something worth sharing.

What dreams have you made a reality and which dreams still need to be explored? What skills from your play as a child – and as an adult – are transferable to other areas of competence?

Learn: Take an inventory of what you loved to do as a kid – still love to do as an adult. (One of Dan Miller’s clients loved to read history books and now makes six figures narrating history books for home schoolers for example.) What transferable skills exist, and are you using them?

Act: Have some fun, surf the internet, plan to attend a seminar on how to be a professional basket weaver, how to open a scuba diving school, what it takes to be a professional skate boarder, or skate board builder. Hopefully you get the idea

Share: Find youth with the same passions and mentor them. You will both learn and grow in the process. Scouting has been great for me to relive highlights of childhood and create new memories with my son.

Photo Credit:

Read the story of Andrew here

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