What’s Your Dream?

Cherish your visions and your dreams. They are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” — Napoleon Hill

Gettysburg was an amazing place. I wanted to see the restored Cyclorama, a 360o painting of Pickett’s Charge. The canvas is four stories high and 377 feet in circumference. A narration and laser show explain the events of July 3rd, 1862, the third and final day of the battle.

Cycloramas were the IMAX theaters of their day (mid-1800’s). Teams of painters spent months creating a mural of some famous scene. The paintings toured in America and Europe. At first, they were shown in circus-sized tents; later, buildings were adapted to house the massive displays.

Only three restored paintings remain in North America: Quebec (Jerusalem), Atlanta (Battle of Atlanta), and Gettysburg.
The French artist who spearheaded the project travelled to Gettysburg years after the war to make sketches of the terrain and interview veterans of the battle. Then he put together a team of a dozen painters. Together, they worked for one full year on the Gettysburg cyclorama. Eventually, they painted four of these touring canvases.

What’s your dream? Somewhere within you is a seed of greatness, your gift to the world. What do you need to do to prepare for your greatness? Success comes to those who have prepared themselves to receive it. Those artists spent years perfecting the concept, doing research, improving their skills. They were ready to be successful. How about you?

Today, more than 140 years later, one can get a sense of the tremendous turmoil and loss of that fateful three-day battle. Because a talented artist conceived the idea and followed his dream, several million visitors annually continue to experience his interpretation of the battle scene.

Decades of travel, wear and tear almost destroyed the canvas. The Gettysburg Foundation had a dream to restore the painting. They raised all the funds necessary through private donations. Restoration took six years and $15M. The newly restored painting was unveiled last spring. Go see it if you can and get inspired.

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