Edward (Ed) Leedskalnin began building a castle from coral in the 1920s. He continued to work on it, expand it and give tours of it until he died in 1951. It’s said he built the castle for his lost love, who he called his “sweet sixteen.”
Even rocker Billy Idol was fascinated by Ed and his story. He wrote and recorded the song “Sweet Sixteen” to tribute to Ed and the Coral Castle. According to the castle’s website, it was the backdrop for the video for this song, yet I’m not able to find it on YouTube. Here’s the ballad if you’re not familiar with it – Billy Idol Sweet Sixteen
As I toured the castle recently, I was awe-struck by this man and his accomplishment. His devotion to building the castle and to his lost love is apparent everywhere on the castle grounds. What gives someone the passion, drive, and commitment to continue to build something like this for more than 30 years?
I imagine it was tough for Ed sometimes, people thought he was strange, eccentric, crazy, and even perhaps had magical powers or connections with aliens. From the looks of the castle, he didn’t let others’ opinions stop him. He shared it with paying visitors until the time of his death in 1951.
Today tours continue, and now he’s praised for his engineering accomplishment of carving and erecting of 1,100 tons of coral alone. Too often, we get stuck, or we stop entirely because we fear what others think or say. Imagine if Walt Disney had stopped because he was worried when people made fun of him for drawing Mickey.
As you begin to plan for 2014, I suggest you take a moment and consider what you REALLY want. What is your dream? What makes you light up? What is stopping you from doing it? Are you afraid of it or running toward it?
No matter what you choose to do, where you choose to do it, or how there will always be people who will do their best to make you feel bad. There may be people who try to block you, who criticize your plans, and say awful things about you. Yet following your dreams, spreading love, and living your truth is the most important thing you can do for yourself and the world. Don’t let what others say or think stop you, step up, take action and let me know if I can help.