Visions come to me at the seemingly most random times.
Like when I’m in the shower. Or going for a mindless walk. Or talking to a friend. Or watching TV. Or even just before I fall asleep.
Except, truth be told, they’re not all that random. All of these instances are moments when my mind is slowed down a little bit. When I’m not in go, go, go mode, trying to be as productive as possible.
I’m receptive. So I can receive visions.
The most dangerous thing for a visionary is to convince ourselves that we need to prove our worth by always being productive. Because it cuts us off from our visions—our very genius.
But we do it all the time, don’t we? We convince ourselves that we don’t have time in our day to go for a walk. Or to have a casual conversation with a friend or colleague. Or to pick up a hobby. Or to just sit and think.
We convince ourselves we can’t afford to do that when we’re hustling to make business, art, healing, life work.
But, actually, we can’t afford not to do it.
Did you know that Nobel Prize scientists are 22 times more likely to be actors, dancers, or musicians than other scientists? (Just ask Adam Grant in his book Originals.)
Seriously—it’s shocking. These socially validated geniuses spend a whole bunch of time not doing their “work.”
As visionaries, we are geniuses. We are artists. We’re creating new visions for the world. Conceptualizing new ways to create. Busting out of the old rules and old boxes.
And we need a lot of time and space outside of those boxes to do that. Every successful artist and visionary ever has pulled inspiration from many different sources. From books, from hobbies, from idle thought, from nature, from conversations with friends.
Our job as visionaries isn’t to hustle and grind and push. It’s to see visions. Big, beautiful, innovative, creative visions.
Visions that others can’t yet see. It’s our genius.
And then we absolutely know when it’s time to put those visions out into the world. And we’ll be so enthralled by them that we don’t have to push or force ourselves. We just kind of let them lead us.
As Steve Jobs once famously said, “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
Maybe it’s not that we’re not doing enough. Maybe we’re pushing and struggling so hard that we lose touch with our visions.
We get so caught up in marketing strategies and Facebook ads and e-mail lists and summits that we forget why we’re even doing this in the first place.
We can’t see the big vision. We can’t see what we really, really want to do. So we end up creating a slightly modified version of what everyone else is doing.
And that’s not the role of a visionary. That’s not the role of a genius.
I love talking to people outside of my industry. Because—one—they usually think I’m crazy. But, more importantly, they see these topics in a totally different light.
I love reading books. And going to museums. And witnessing (and tasting) culinary art. Because it inspires me in ways that I don’t get every day.
I remember sitting in a fancy restaurant last year, listening to hip music and savoring my amuse bouche under low lights. And, at first, I thought about the high cost for these aesthetic touches—which some might call pretentious.
But then it occurred to me that, without them, I might never fully receive the food. It put me in an altered state of mind. Like seeing a painting, well-lit, in a museum versus on someone’s dingy floor.
Same genius, but different experience of receiving it.
Like David Lynch, the restaurant was a master of creating a mood.
And it validated why I spend 20 minutes of every Sacred Circle call facilitating a meditation. Sure, we could dive right into the material. But none of us could receive it the same way.
And it opened up deeper understandings and new avenues for my work. All in the middle of this restaurant.
Because a visionary is always visioning. We just need to be given the space and inspiration to do so.
We need to challenge our minds in creative and unconventional ways. We need to pause way more often. And think more. And connect with people who inspire us. And put ourselves in new and different situations.
That’s how we access greater visions. And, the greater the vision, the more it can pull us forward to actually create it in the world.
Strong visions want to be born. Maybe our problem isn’t that we aren’t pushing enough. Maybe it’s that our visions aren’t strong enough yet.
I have two hours blocked out on my calendar to talk to a friend and colleague every week. Two hours! Could I use that time “productively” to check off more items on my to-do list? Of course I could.
And sometimes I catch myself thinking I need to cancel. Because, truthfully, we don’t have plans for the call. It’s not even really a mastermind. We just talk.
Sometimes about work. Sometimes about life. Sometimes about what we’re feeling that day.
But, after a few years of doing this, I can see with absolute certainty that those calls always plant a seed for some big vision to grow. Even if it takes me weeks to see it growing.
Because I don’t always make the connections right away. I don’t always get how our random conversation inspired me to run a workshop a few weeks later. But, sooner or later, I get it.
Because it’s not random. Nothing’s random.
Giving ourselves space and inspiration just means we’re expanding the way we’re used to thinking. And, if we want big ideas, we need big expansion to hold those ideas.
If we want to free ourselves from the confining boxes of our lives, we need to step into all kinds of new boxes to get inspiration.
I’ve rarely known a successful genius who was always pushing and “productive.” But I’ve known many who have random hobbies and random conversations and random time to think.
Don’t lose your visions. They’re your lifeblood, visionary. They’re your genius. They’re how you are going to change the world.
And the deeper your visions, the more you’ll be pulled directly into the actions you need to do just that.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you have a lot of free time?
— Do you ever gift yourself “free time” to just think? Or start up a new hobby? Or have conversations with friends, colleagues, or even new people?
— Have you noticed that some of your best ideas or visions come while running, or in the shower, or meditating, or just before bed?
— What if it’s not that you have to push harder, but actually that you just have to do less? And the more you allow stronger visions to come forward, the more they will pull you—with inspiration—toward creating that vision?