Dream Big

To do the impossible, first see the invisible

There’s a quote I heard the other day, “Only those who see the invisible can do the impossible.” I don’t know the source of the quote but it’s message stood out for me. Later, I read the following quote by Paul Hawken in the wonderful book, “Walk Out, Walk On” by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze:

“Forget that this task of planet saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.”

— Paul Hawkens

Both quotes speak to the power of visioning and to the ways in which our points of view can either empower us beyond belief or limit us until we stand paralyzed. Innovators, pioneers and social entrepreneurs choose the path of envisioning and hold empowering viewpoints that bring what some see as impossible into reality.

So…what’s possible for communities and families when we begin to dream bigger dreams? When we hold onto the view that we can collaborate to create the change we want to see? When we really begin to believe that each of us has the power to make a difference – especially when combined together?

I’m discovering people around the world who stopped waiting for top down solutions to problems and are joining together at the grassroots level to brainstorm and implement innovative and creative solutions to large scale community problems. They are sharing ideas and knowledge, foregoing rigid hierarchy, daydreaming and playing together, exploring possibilities, connecting and collaborating, and getting the job done! They’re replacing competition and hierarchy with collaboration, shared knowledge and shared power.

Equally exciting are the collaborative tools and processes that support this work like the circle meeting format used by indigenous people or Open Space and World Cafe formats that engage large numbers of people. In these types of forums, the viewpoints and ideas of all who are impacted are invited and valued. Everyone is engaged in looking at old challenges through the lenses of new and empowering questions, creativity and collaboration – asking what do we really want and need, what can we create together and how will we get it done? So…

  • What’s the biggest dream you can imagine that can impact your life and the lives of others in your family and/or community?
  • What’s possible if you really believe you can be a part of creating the change you want to see?
  • Who will you connect with to explore the possibilities?

Where Will Your Vision Take You This Year?

The beginning of the new year is a great time to create or update your vision for your personal or professional life! If you have a vision, how compelling is it? Does it make you want to jump out of bed each morning ready to take one or two new steps to bring it into being? What does your ideal life look like? Find a quiet moment, close your eyes and really begin to visualize it. What do you see? Who is there with you? What are you doing? What does it feel like to be there?

Our thoughts and feelings create our reality, and visioning is a powerful tool to set the ball in motion! How about getting your vision out of your head and onto paper where it can really inspire you each day? Do you love to write? If so, write out your vision in detail making sure it’s a 10 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10.

Are you more of a visual person? If that’s you, consider creating a vision board and hang it where you can see it each day. There are two ways of creating a vision board that I’ve used and recommend.

vision board

A sample vision board

  1. If you have a clear vision in your mind, look for words or images in magazines, greeting cards, book covers or on the web that illustrate the various parts of your vision. If they are too large, reduce them on your color ink jet printer/copier. Collect them for a period of time (hours, days, weeks) and then assemble them on a poster board or mat board making an exciting collage.
  2. If you don’t have a clear vision, use this second method of creating your vision board. Gather a number of magazines (try for some variety) and spend some quiet time flipping through the magazines. When an image or word or color catches your attention, tear it out and collect it in a pile. It could be the color yellow, a bird, a dog, a person, a type of food, a material object or words like “live your best life” or “dream big.” The important thing is not to think about it. Just tear out whatever catches your attention without stopping to consider why. After you’ve collected a number of these images, take some time and glue them on a poster or mat board – letting your intuition guide you about the arrangement and layout. If you want to get playful add cloth swatches, stickers, feathers, glitter or ribbon wherever it feels right.

Vision boards seem to have a magical quality. It’s as if you are calling the contents of them into being. Like they are your prayer – your request from your heart that you are asking to be fulfilled. Many people, including me, have found that that vision boards become reality – often within the year they are created.

What do you have to lose? How about starting to collect your images today? What would your life look like and feel like if your vision became a reality in 2012? Let me know how it goes for you.