My lifework is to ignite the imaginations of people to dream without limits and to inspire action to pursue their passions. That requires confidence, something I once lacked to the bone. I was terrified to stand before a crowd and speak. Being handed a microphone was like being handed a reptile. If I was on a lonely road, I was sure a tire would blow out on a deserted stretch of highway in the path of a tornado.
The key to success, I’ve learned, is perseverance and courage. My advice to anyone actively trying to accomplish a goal is to climb right over the obstacles, especially words of discouragement. Your path may be bumpy, but whatever happens, a sense of self-worth comes in the trying. Nothing happens if you don’t try, so why not?
In the words of Henry Ford: “Obstacles are those most frightful things you see when you take your eyes of your goal.” One of his first obstacles was a banker who declined to give him a loan because “the automobile will never replace the horse.”
Without courage, you’re stuck in a wish.
Once upon a time, I was mired in a misery of wishes. It was a prayer that pulled me up and out. On my knees, hands folded, I asked:
To be a fearless traveler with a mission. To wake up every day with eagerness and joy. To have adventures. To take care of myself and my children financially. To have plenty of time, talent and money to give away. And mostly, to have something meaningful to say and do—to be a vessel of service— so that at the end of my days, I could say, “Way to go, Dianna. You did good.” Amen. (P.S. Please make it fun).
That is exactly what happened. By practicing courage, my fears evaporated one by one. Adventure swept in. Since then, I’ve skydived many times, joined a crew of hot air balloonists, I’ve driven throughout the U.S. and Mexico, usually alone. I lived on a mountaintop in a remote village, bunked for months on a sailboat (The Maiden America), ridden on the back of a motorcycle through two countries (and accidentally ended up behind the Federales in La Carrera, the “Mexican Road Race”). I rode a huge horse through a Mexican plaza. And only once was I trapped in the path of tornado. A really, really big one. Really big.
With that courage came the confidence to venture into the unexplored world of business. I established a foundation called The Oz Project. Its mission is to inspire young people to pursue their dreams and provide them with the means to do so.
Most recently—by means of a hand-painted car named The Maiden America II—I’ve been honored to collect the dreams, prayers and messages of people from many nations. It is a project of goodwill, and a book-in-the-making entitled SOS: Messages of Love, Hope and Peace. When a hand-painted glass jug is filled with dreams, I ask a seafarer to cast it into deep waters. Today, about 15 bottles are floating in oceans and seas, or resting on sand.
Surround yourself with cheerleaders.
It takes courage to build confidence. It takes confidence to dream big. And it takes continual practice to maintain the courage you need to achieve your goals. If there’s something you want to do but are afraid to do, do it anyway—and if you have the means, do it now. It’s perfectly okay to be scared. Empty your Bucket List!
This is your one and only life. Bar the door to fear. Let your passion lead you to achievement and joy. Ask your family, friends and heavenly guides to help you. Give people the opportunity to be a meaningful part of your life. They want to help you succeed. Just ask.
It is said, “We’re all in this together.” We are. It’s called teamwork.
I welcome private or public occasions to share these stories.