Two years ago I was lying in a hospital bed, miles away from home, cut open, with no energy left to move a finger, suffering the worst pain in my life.
At the same time I couldn’t believe how blessed I was to have experienced the last few months in the Caribbean. I never felt more in peace with myself and the world. And it wasn’t because I had just tricked death in Haiti due to an emergency peritonitis surgery. It was because I was following a dream, and I could start to see it come true.
I think that, at least once in a lifetime, everyone is moved to create something life-changing. All of a sudden you find yourself in front of a crossroad, one path leading to the regular life you have lived so far, the other one leading to an unknown location.
This blog post will not be a usual one it’s more like a journal entry. I would like to share with you what milestones I managed to conquer two years ago and in what way they changed my way of thinking and workflow, and most of all, the way they changed my way of living for a long time.
I spent most of my professional career(and still do) working for clients that required me to reach specific objectives (e.g. increase the sales, create a new image for their brand, make their start-up known online, and so on…). Most of my work was disposable, services that could be used and then forgotten by the masses, a drop in the ocean. For this reason, a few years ago, I wanted to express myself more, hoping to leave a mark, leave something to remember, and for this reason I started doing photography.
But this was not enough.
It sounds like a huge clichè but in my mind a question started screaming it’s way out: “Am I changing things? Am I improving the life of people or am I simply intoxicating the world with new forms of advertising?”
I had enough. I needed to find a way to use what I had learned as a digital communicator and a creative to leave my own footprint on earth. Or at least try.
From this whim I started thinking, taking time off work, brainstorming with my self and by old partner every day, every hour, and I felt happy, my purpose made me change the way I lived.
One day I received a call from my partner Luca Naj-Oleari, asking me if I wanted to spend a month in the Caribbean to help him out with a complex website he was curating for the Italian Government. I jumped on a plane and spent my summer holidays in a place that would deeply change me.
I’ll not describe all the details, the only thing I shall say is that I never breathed life so deeply in my lungs. Everyday was lived as the last day in my life and my way of looking at things mutated forever.
While in the Caribbean we got in contact with the Haitian reality. After all this time, things hadn’t changed at all. The hope of a new life in their eyes motivated us to do something for them. How could we help them?
Talking with a building company we understood that it’s very difficult to help Haiti in the rebuilding process, the government and bureaucracy was in always in the way. Money before life. We had to do something for this.
In a little house on the beach in Cabarete (Dominican Republic), me and my friend Luca gave birth to “AlmaCreativa”. A company with the aim to use digital communication and creativity only to improve the life of the human kind. Probably the biggest clichè you’ve ever heard, but at that time we deeply believed in it. And we felt great.
Being in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the nature, every single detail of it, getting to know our inner selfs helped us discover a whole new way to generate creativity. Our minds where hacked and run faster, smoother, and started to think big. Crazy ideas, some of them insane, utopian, but as we recall, great ideas…
…and our first project’s name was: “Le Rêve — The Dream”.
“Le Rêve” was a ray of light in the Haitian territory.
A new life. A solution. A new beginning. The project aimed to build 2 square kilometers of hope, in 22.000 square kilometers of despair. Through a new donation system that we are creating that will revolutionize the way you can help the less fortunate, “Le Rêve” will give 12.000 haitians new houses, education, health assistance and most important, work. The new donation system would have been the main tool of the project, the engine that would made it burst. It would have been quite evolutional, and it would have been usable with other fund raising project. We couldn’t wait to make it public.
Travelling around the world boosted our energies to the infinite, we thought no one could stop us. But we were wrong.
As young entrepreneurs we lacked a clearer vision of our surroundings. After many months of hard work we started to understand that nothing can be life changing for someone if it isn’t life changing for someone else. Unfortunately too many economic interests of too many people around the project made the machine gradually stop.
Months passed, but the more we fought for the project the more economic issues we encountered. If the project wasn’t lucrative, it simply couldn’t be done.
We so decided to invest all our energies and achievements in benefaction. Archiving all the project files and contacts. It was the worst defeat of our lives and we felt ashamed that we couldn’t go any further to reach our dream milestone.
“Le Rêve”, however never died. Besides defining the man I’m now it still is a project that will always have a heart beat that will never make me stop in finding a solution to the issues we encountered.
“Le Rêve” tought me to “live for Monday”. If you dread Monday you should reconsider what you’re doing. Care about what you do. Live intentionally.
Make your job count.