Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vision is Intelligence and Imagination

There are many ways to look at a given event. The point of view you choose says more about you than it does about the event. For instance, there were people who said that if man were meant to fly, he would have been born with wings. Yet man’s capacity for flight has never been bound or determined by having or not having wings. Why? Because we have something more valuable and far-reaching than wings…we have intelligence, creativity and imagination.

In 1943, Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” In this instance, Watson lacked vision. There will always be people who under-estimate man’s capabilities. The important thing to note is that we don’t have to accept their limitations.

On an individual basis, people make the same mistake….they under-estimate themselves; they under-estimate their creativity, intelligence, and imagination. The truth is that anything you can imagine, you can be or achieve.
Bill Gates certainly wasn’t deterred by Thomas Watson’s limited vision when he set a goal to put a computer in every home. His vision and determination fit the world’s need far better than Watson’s did.

If you were to objectively look back at your life and consider all you’ve been done and experienced, you would probably be amazed and admit that you wouldn’t have thought it possible. Examples: relocated, career achievement, community recognition, level of salary and/or education, survived accidents, divorce, illness, raised children. Everyone has managed events and circumstances far beyond what they thought they could. All of this has happened because they have resources that far exceed their understanding. Innately, you know how to be strong, inventive, responsive, creative, focused and determined. You’ve pulled these qualities out whenever it was necessary.

Everyone has imagination and intelligence. Pay attention to your self limiting statements (self talk). Perhaps you are capable of more than you think. Perhaps It is time to acknowledge your own creativity.

The saying is, “There are no precedents in the Universe”. This means that just because something has not been created, accomplished or experienced yet, does not mean that it can’t be. The world comes up with new inventions, discoveries, methods, and cures daily.

Oprah Winfrey has said, “The Universe had a greater plan for me than I had for myself”. This is really true for everyone – including you!

Small Minded and Critics: Are you killing inspiration?

There are professional reputation smashers, sometimes referred to as “the Old Grump next door.” No matter what you can do, they can do it better. If you sing, they sing better (even though they can’t sing). If you dance, they dance better (even though they can’t dance). If you coach a hockey team, they can do it better (even though they know nothing of hockey). Whatever it is, they know more than you, even though they are vacant of knowledge and experience, and have no clue. And since they make assessments without understanding, it shouldn’t be particularly surprising that their judgment is inaccurate. Whether they are critiquing the works of genius or praising the truly awful, these Critics tend toward error an inordinate amount of the time. Nevertheless, they possess tremendous influence. And that influence is behind the tragic loss of much that would have benefited to the world.

Chinese philosopher, Chuang-tse describes the small mindedness of the Critics in his story about a know-it-all quail. In China there is a great bird known as the P’eng. Its back, broad as a mountain range, extends to support expansive wings, which sweep the sky like clouds. In flight it rises powerfully like a whirlwind penetrating the high mist and majestically soars into the heavens.

As the P’eng glides smoothly, effortlessly on its way to the sea, a quail in the marsh gazes up and laughs. “What does that bird think it is doing?” The quail exclaims, “I leap, fly a few feet and descend again; I flutter busily among the bushes, jumping from here to there and back again. That is what flying is for! Who is that creature trying to fool?”

Thus it is that the small-minded, lacking knowledge and perspective, cannot lift their vision to comprehend greatness, anymore than the words of a fool can equal the depth of a wise one, or the experience of a few years can equal that of many.

Remember this when the voice of inspiration speaks to you and you recognize that it is time to step beyond past limitations because something greater beckons you. The creative among us can discern true art, the visionary can ascertain direction, and the small-minded will stand back in their safe domain and condemn.

Where do you see yourself? Is it time to step into a vaster experience? Or would you choose to risk nothing to stay safe and small?