For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I look at things close up all day long.
I stare at a computer screen. Or a cell phone screen. Or a good book. Or the most immediate challenges in my business and life.
To survive daily life—at least, life in today’s world—I’m constantly looking at what’s close up. What’s right in front of me.
I get caught up in the everyday worries. Bills and mortgages and dishes and laundry and all of the things we all get caught up in. Things we need to be caught up in to make sure stuff gets done.
If we weren’t taking everyday action, we’d be just another visionary with a pipe dream—lost in our fantasies and never bringing them down to Earth.
But the trouble with only looking at things close up is we start to lose the ability to see far away, too. We start to forget the big picture. Why we’re even doing this in the first place.
It wasn’t until last week, as I looked out over the endless ocean in Aruba, that I remembered just how expansive that vision really is.
I love going to Aruba, mostly because I’ve been so many times in my life that there’s no obligation to do much of anything when I’m there. I’ve done every touristy activity. I’ve been to all the classic restaurants. So I can just connect with the land, the people I’m with, and myself.
Aruba’s a reset button for me. A temporary pause from the busyness of everyday life. An escape from looking at things close up so that I can see the bigger picture again. The long-term vision.
My phone stays locked up for most of the trip. I don’t check Facebook or e-mail. I don’t look at many things close up. I remember that I can still see far out, too. Like over the horizon to a gorgeous sunset. Or up high to the few clouds in the sky.
It was in Aruba that I decided to leave my job and start this business. It was in Aruba that I decided to propose to Garrett. It was in Aruba that I decided to create a 2.5-hour daily morning routine and start my days with me first.
Sometimes, we visionaries are so caught up in looking at what’s right in front of us that we forget who we truly are—visionaries with the capacity to see far out. To see a vision that no one else can see. To connect with something that feels impossible. Implausible. Too far-fetched to ever happen in our lifetime. And yet we pursue it anyway. Because we’re visionaries.
Revolution is only ever started by people who pursue impossible things because they can see much farther ahead than the rest of the world. Maybe even farther than their own lifetime.
But, if we’re only ever focused on what’s right in front of us, we might diminish our ability to see what’s far away too.
And we don’t necessarily need to travel to the Caribbean to get that perspective. We don’t need an endless ocean to remind us of how expansive the world really is. We only need to take a momentary pause from what’s close up and, instead, choose to see what’s far off in the distance.
Remembering our vision. Why we’re doing this. Why this even matters. What impossible thing we’re willing to pursue.
It’s the ability to alternate between near-term and long-distance visions that makes us visionaries truly remarkable and successful in the world.
If we’re only ever focused on what’s off in the distance, we never actually see how to bring it to life. If we’re only ever focused on what’s right in front of us, we lose sight of why this matters to us.
We need both. We need to alternate between nose-to-the-grind, get-shit-done, short-term sight, and far-out, impossible, this-is-why-I’m-doing-this visions.
The former keeps us from being overwhelmed and gives us the incremental wins we need to stay motivated. The latter reminds us why it matters at all, and what potential we see for the future.
Sometimes things that look good or important up close aren’t actually taking us in the direction of that long-term vision. And sometimes the everyday challenges feel overwhelming and impossible without the motivation of looking out to what’s possible.
We exist in a world where information is always coming to us. From our TVs, our phones, our computers and social media. It can be really easy to fall victim to only short-term visions. To what’s right in front of us. To what just needs to get done right now.
If we aren’t careful, we might forget why this work matters to us. Why we entered into this relationship in the first place. Why we need to produce this art. Why we’re willing to sacrifice so much.
If our goals are only ever short-term, then we’re always on the hamster wheel. Always spinning ’round and ’round. Starting over. Reinventing the wheel. And never actually moving anywhere.
Life just becomes everyday survival. Going through the motions. Devoid of purpose. Empty containers with no essence inside. Forgetting what we’re really after or why it even matters at all.
Over the endless ocean, I remembered that I believe every single person has a unique genius inside of them. A genius that’s woven through every moment of their lives. Their wounds and challenges and traumas. Their hopes and aspirations. Their values. Their undiscovered abilities. And it is their birthright to access that genius. In fact, it’s how they’ll transform the world.
It’s why I get up and write every day. It’s why I do this work even when it’s hard or scary or asks me to make sacrifices. It’s why I keep unpacking my own genius. It’s why I fell in love with Garrett, in the first place.
I remember that long-distance vision just as much as I see the smaller, everyday visions to continue bringing it all into reality.
And, when we can see both far-out and up close, that’s when we visionaries transform the world.
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:
Are you only looking at things close up?
— Do you get caught up in the grind of daily life? Are you always focusing on “close up” things like computer screens, cell phones, dishes, and laundry? Are you sometimes so focused on just surviving with what’s right in front of you that you forget why you’re even doing it in the first place?
— When was the last time that you looked at something far away, like an ocean, or up at the stars, or at your really implausible, long-term vision? How often do you remember the expansiveness of everything around us? The bigger picture?
— What if your ability to see both near and far is the key to your success? What if you can always pause and remember why this really matters and look at it from a wider vantage point? What if you could see the big picture and then focus in on the incremental, specific ways to create that in the world?