4.3 Vision-Seeing Beyond Sight
EGL Newsletter Volume 4.3
We enter March and the last few weeks of winter. Spring is beginning to make its appearance in Santa Barbara. I am continuously grateful for the beauty of this place that I am blessed to call home.
Last week, I stepped off a curb and nearly fell, as I had misjudged the height of the curb. That immediately seemed rather odd. As I became more curious, I realized that I was losing the vision in my right eye. The next day, it was worse. A few phone calls later I found myself preparing for an emergency surgery to repair a detached retina. Not exactly how I planned to spend Saturday night, but I considered it a great time to save my eyesight.
The surgery was long and successful. Recovery requires me to be face down for significant amounts of time. In fact, the first week I was down for most of the time. There are some great lessons in this experience which prompted my theme for this article on “Vision”. Most of all, I have found myself really compromised by my reduced perceptual ability. The other amazing thing is the ability we humans have to adapt and to take control of our senses. I have spent a lot of time “turning up” my hearing, which I have now found to be responding nicely to help fill in the gaps. At any time, we can take a moment to consciously turn up the volume on our ears, or to increase the sensitivity of our feelings, just to be able to more appropriately respond to any situation.
So, take a moment, tune in your senses, and change your life.
Vision – Seeing Beyond Sight
The first of our transformational competencies is Vision. We talk a great deal about a leader’s ability to create a compelling, shared vision of some desired state. This occupies a good deal of work with leaders. Now there is a subtle point here that is created by our language. Most of the time the word “Vision” is associated with “Sight” in the minds of people trying to create one. You will often see visions created as a picture, or described in terms most readily identifiable as images.
However, even though much of our memory and engagement of life revolves around our sight, an entire experience is vastly greater than our sight delivers to us. Each moment of the present is filled with sounds, smells, and intuitional experiences. We are constantly looking, listening, and sensing. Also, we have a full array of experience through our emotions and our interpretations of the sensory data.
This simple change can often take a vision that seems uninspiring and transform it into an ideal that lives and breathes in the hearts and minds of those people who share it. So remember, “Vision” transcends “Sight” and is a full array of experience. The more you can maintain the sense of how it will feel to live in your desired state, the more easily you can evoke that state and engage others to move in that direction. Take time to turn up the sensory experience of your “vision”.
Take a few minutes and think of some desired state you currently hold. What will it feel like once you are there? How will your thinking be different than today? What will people around you sound like? What sorts of things will people be talking about? How will you be physically standing, moving, and posturing yourself? How will others respond to you? What language will they be using?
Congratulations! You have taken yourself much closer to your desired state than before. That may seem simplistic, but it is a profoundly important part of creation. You will only create what you imagine. Learning how to expand your experience will allow you to expand all aspects of your life. Unless you imagine an experience that is fully different than the current state, you will continue to live out exactly what you are experiencing now. Change your experience and you change your life.