|Sydney and Avyn Make Robots, April 2006|
Written March 29, 2006
Today Sydney (age 7) and Avyn (age 5) showed me how to succeed in life:
A few days ago, Sydney and Avyn decided they wanted to make toy robots. They wanted to go thru a junkyard and get little robot parts. They decided they needed money. They did a bunch of chores for me this weekend: laundry, cleaning, etc, until they each earned a few bucks. Then they got money from an Easter egg hunt at their cousin's 1st birthday party. Then Grandma and Grandpa gave them each $2. Working hard, and saving cash that drifted their way, they earned about $10 each in a single weekend!
They begged me to take them to a junkyard. We found one nearby and went to it. They were closed. Sydney and Avyn didn't let me give it up, and we went again the next day. But, the grumpy man snapped at them and said no one is allowed in the back to pick out parts, for liability reasons. They were sad at first, but they kept trying to brainstorm ways to get parts, or find another junkyard, until I remembered the American Science & Surplus Center in Chicago!
We went there today. Wow! Avyn actually said, "It's like I'm in Heaven!" For mere pennies, it seemed, they could buy anything they wanted. There were aisles of bins, filled with crazy surplus items! Sydney said, "We would have never known about this place if we didn't get kept from the junkyard!" They bought motors, and wheels and all sorts of parts, and stayed in budget! Avyn had to let a few things go from his basket, and the choices were hard for him, but he made them. They handed the cashier their crumpled dollars and coins. He smiled, and snuck them $3 off coupons for their next visit.
We got home, and they built their robots with glee. Avyn built one that was pulled on a leash, with wheels, and a fan turned as you pulled it. Sydney attached 3 castor wheels to a plastic suitcase handle, added a little motor (only $0.75) and 9V battery, and it drove! They found true joy in these toys, because they worked to bring them to reality.
I was amazed at their ingenuity, persistence and creativity thru the whole process, from start to finish!
They taught me a very valuable life lesson. Everyone has ideas. Everyone talks about doing something. Many kids say, "I want to build a toy robot..." Many adults have good ideas, too, perhaps a business they want to start, or a great new product idea, or a career they would love to have. But, for nearly all of us, that's where it stops - with the words. 99% of the world doesn't get up and find a way to make it happen. Or we let our fear stop us. Or we turn back at the first negative statement. The successful people in the world get up, find the resources, and implement their ideas. That's what little Sydney and Avyn did. They had an idea, and they MADE IT HAPPEN! It took days. They had setbacks (like the junkyard). But they kept working at it until they could make their vision a reality. And they enjoyed the adventure. They discovered new places and met new people and learned new things along the way.
If you have an idea, something you want to do, something that would bring you joy, find a way to make it happen. It will be hard work, but you will have enjoyed the entire process when you look back. Succeed or fail, the process alone will enrich you. Find a way to build your robot.