Vision is Greater Than Sight
About 350 years ago, a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year, they established a town site. The next year, they elected a town government. The third year, the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.
In the fourth year, the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
These were people who had the vision to see 3,000 miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years, they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.
With a clear vision of what we can become, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries. I learned the power of vision from my seven year old daughter a few years ago. She loved to play catch with Dad. The object we threw--a tennis ball, football, one of those squishy balls--mattered little; but the challenge of consecutive catches mattered very much to her.
There was always the same goal, and only one goal, when we played catch--to break the existing records for consecutive catches. I remember one day my focused little daughter said, "Dad, let's try for 100 in a row." Since our best at that point was 50 I politely chuckled and said, "Sure sweetie." A few days later, we did it! So, next she said, "Dad let's go for 300 in a row."
Well, my daughter was learning to set a grand vision, but I still had a lot to learn. I thought to myself, "Gee, we just hit 100. Why not try to 125 or maybe 150 in a row? But 300?!" Of course, out loud I responded with another uneasy chuckle and a "Of course, little princess."
You guessed it. It was only a few days later that we hit 300 catches in a row. I was really impressed and quite content. My daughter was neither impressed nor content, but she was a lot smarter than I and had a bigger vision. "Dad, let's go for 500 now!" And to myself I thought, "You have GOT to be kidding me!"
Sure enough, that very same day, we caught 500 throws in a row. You'd think I would be a believer by now, but when her sparkling eyes looked at me and said, "Dad, let's go for 1,000 in a row!" I am embarrassed to admit that my internal response was the same. You guessed it. Less than 24 hours later we hit our current record--1,017 catches in a row!
Our record was more than 10 times bigger than what I could see, but it was exactly as big as my daughter's vision. It's a lesson I carry with me today--your vision should be much bigger than what you can actually see. Now I am a believer. What you envision is what you get. Look beyond your eyes to see the possibilities! What is your vision?
Read free book chapters from the author's book Leadership Matters for more insights and inspiration.
LEE COLAN | Columnist
Lee Colan is founder of the L Group, a consulting firm that equips and inspires leaders at every level. He is a leadership adviser, presenter of practical ideas, and a Thinkers 50 nominee for Top Management Thinker.