“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”

Alan Turing, 20th Century English computer scientist

Image from Unsplash by The New York Public Library

The world recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon.

It is interesting to note that many of the first pioneers into space pointed to the fragility of the earth and how vital it is for all of us to be better stewards of our precious planet.

We are so often enthralled by the big picture that we can fail to pay attention to what is right before us, as today’s quote implies.

Did you know that the human eye is so sensitive that if you were standing on a mountain top on a dark night, you could see a candle flame flickering up to 30 miles away? The height of the mountain would remove the impact of the earth’s curvature.

We can also sense the light from the Andromeda Galaxy, composed of about a trillion stars and located an amazing 2.6 million light-years from Earth.

Yet how often do we not see what is right in front of us?

EXERCISE:

Regardless of how far you can see, what are some of your top personal, professional, and even global priorities that need your best efforts?

“Innovation is born from the interaction between constraint and vision.”

“Innovation is born from the interaction between constraint and vision.”

—Marissa Mayer, co-founder of Lumi Labs

Image of Marissa Mayer from Twitter

How innovative and creative are you compared to those around you? How do you stack up against your colleagues, your competitors, and to the global pioneers that are transforming our world with new exponential technologies?

If your ego has gotten a bit bruised by pondering those questions, there is coaching for you in today’s quote.

EXERCISE:

Take a few minutes to examine one or two top priorities in your personal or professional worlds. What is your vision for each area, and what limitations or constraints exist?

Consider expanding your vision in these areas to the point where the constraints become greater, requiring you to be even more innovative.

Even if you shoot for the moon and miss, your innovative efforts will land you among the stars.

The great secret about goals and visions

“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe, but the change in the present they engender.”

—David Allen, American Productivity Consultant

Image of a circle of people looking down at the camera

Image from Unslpash by RawPixel

I hope you had a very happy holiday season, and that your new year is off to an outstanding start. Perhaps you are like most of us in that you set about to revisit your visions for the new year, and establish “stretch” goals for where you see yourself professionally and personally.

What progress, skills, habits, and achievements will put a big smile on your face? Perhaps most importantly, what daily changes will be required to realize what you deeply desire?

David Allen suggests, in today’s quote, that our visions and goals provide the leverage of our commitment to changing our present actions that will have us realize the futures we desire.

EXERCISE:

Consider displaying the following quote by Tuli Kupferberg in your personal or professional environment as a daily reminder to tap into one of the secrets to a better future:

“When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge.”

Also consider writing it with the second part first:

“New worlds will emerge when patterns are broken.”

Friday Review of Posts on Vision

FRIDAY REVIEW: VISION

How clear is your vision for yourself and your future? Here are a few vision-related posts you may have missed. Click to read the full message.

 

“Examine everything as though you had just taken off blinders.”

 

 

 

“It’s hard to see a halo when you’re looking for horns.”

 

 

 

 

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

 

 

 

There is a bigger picture

“There’s a bigger picture. Just step back from the canvas.”

—attributed to Ilona Simone

One of my favorite Netflix Original Series is called Tales by Light.

Each episode highlights a specific masterful photographer, examining their world in great detail. The techniques they use to capture our world include a wide variety of lenses, and viewing their subjects from multiple levels.

From ground level to the top of a ladder, or a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon or drone, their images reveal more of their canvas, and a far more interesting and beautiful perspective on their subject.

EXERCISE:

Where in either your personal or professional world are you simply too close to a particular subject? Where would stepping back to gain greater objectivity and perspective shed more and better light on your view of your world?

I Will Love the Light

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

—Og Mandino, 20th Century American Author

Image of a starry sky

Image from Flickr by Kristopher Roller

Every summer when I was young my entire family headed to Camp Indian Lake in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Back then, our trusty flashlights were essential tools for nighttime navigation in finding our way back to our cabins.

On clear nights with virtually no ambient light for miles, we would often turn off our torches to enjoy the spectacle of the night sky, filled with what must have been millions of stars.

The flash lights were only helpful in seeing 50 or so feet ahead. The darkness allowed us to see the light of stars, and perhaps galaxies many light years away.

EXERCISE:

Where would a greater appreciation for both the light and the darkness of life reveal even greater insight into yourself and the world?

Glimpses of Heaven

“There are glimpses of Heaven to us in every act or thought or word, that raises us above ourselves.”

—A.P. Stanley, 19th Century Dean of Westminster

Image of Thor's Helmet Emission Nebula

Thor’s Helmet Emission Nebula 
Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona

I love the idea that if we shoot for the moon and miss our mark, we will still land among the stars. How often do your eyes rise to the heavens to explore and pursue the possibilities of life? How often do you navigate your world looking down or only at your next step?

With the right lens or perceptional filter, today’s quote suggests we can use every action, thought, or word as a catalyst, to become a better versions of ourselves.

EXERCISE:

Ask and answer these three questions, to open up the heavens even further:
• What did I learn from the action that I just took, to improve my current situation?
• How can my current thinking be more hopeful, optimistic, and creative?
• What do I hear or read that can inspire me toward a new level of excellence?

Consider creating a question or two for yourself that, once answered, can raise your life to new levels of success and life satisfaction.

Hard to See a Halo when you’re looking for Horns

“It’s hard to see a halo when you’re looking for horns.”

—Cullen Hightower, late American quip writer

Image of a halo hanging on devel's horns

Image from VG24

Are you a good person?

Most of us like to think we are – and could even prove it through the kind and generous gestures we make throughout the day.

Take a moment to look at the variety of people in your personal and professional worlds. How many have the same size halo you see above your own head? Perhaps more disturbingly, how often do you see their not-so-pleasant horns, because you are focusing on their faults and shortcomings?

EXERCISE:

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I don’t like that man. I need to get to know him better.”

How can you, too, rise above your own fault-finding perceptions and discover far more halos in those around you?

 

Friday Review: Vision

FRIDAY REVIEW: VISION

What new worlds can emerge as you utilize the power of your vision? Here are a few vision-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakens.”

 

 

 

 

 

“Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time.”

 

 

 

 

“What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.”

 

 

 

Examine Everything

“Examine everything as though you had just taken off blinders.”

—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation

Image of a blindfolded woman

Image from The Bittersweet Score

Imagine losing your sight for 24 hours. Perhaps you had a surgical procedure and were required to wear blinders to protect those sensitive windows into the world.

What would that be like? What would be the impact on your other senses? Perhaps most interestingly, what would you observe and appreciate even more when you removed the blinders?

Although this is an extreme example, consider that fact that we all wear blinders or at least perceptual lenses by which we view the world. Some are particularly dark and negative, doing a number on our happiness and overall life satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

Take off your blinders or at least your perceptual sunglasses today and look deeper and completely at the people and things around you.

Feel free to reply to this post to share what new, brighter, and surprisingly different things you observe.