The Power of Vision
Did you know that of the five human senses the brain is wired to prioritize vision over the other four? Even our memories, regardless of the sensations they are made up of, are stored in pictures?
Now you may be thinking: What does this have to do with overcoming obstacles, being successful, or living the best life possible?
Well, humans are the only animal on this planet capable of ignoring what we see with our eyes. We are the only creatures capable of being willfully blind and deceiving ourselves. I define "willfully blind" as: a situation in which a person seeks to avoid taking responsibility for a harmful act by consciously keeping himself or herself unaware of facts that would render him or her accountable.
Too often, our lives are filled with willfully blind acts. If you don't believe me, take a look at some of the following examples, some that may even hit home with you:
A person with bad eating habits gains significant weight but denies their responsibility.
A person smoking cigarettes for years is devastated by receiving a throat cancer diagnosis.
A person who is living high on the hog when their account balance is telling them they are going broke.
A person that neglects the basic needs of their significant other discovers a growing distance in the relationship.
If we are honest, most of us have known someone who could do much better in life if they would take an honest look at themselves, get up off their butt, and try harder to improve themselves. Some of us are the very people I just described.
It is said that in ancient Mesopotamia the Emperor had to account to the people each year not only for what he had accomplished, but for what he saw as his failures during the previous year. It was believed that to be a leader, a person must be able to see their shortcomings, because without honest vision, no improvement could ever be made.
I, just as you, like to play to my strengths and focus on things I do well. However, knowing our shortcomings is important and, consequently, we can reduce the likelihood of being blindsided by our shortcomings.
For example, over the years I have met many individuals that were smart, hardworking, and goal-oriented, but they had a bad attitude or a pessimistic life perspective. These individuals are not the type of people who generate the positive energy that attracts people. Because of that, they don't experience relationships that will help them in their personal, social, or career aspirations.
Today, the same holds true as it did eons ago. We must be able to see our world as it truly exists or we will never be able to find success in it. We must also see ourselves as we truly are or we will never be able to make meaningful improvements.
My challenge for you this week:
Engage in the following activities of honest, self-reflection where you take a new look at yourself:
What do you consider to be a personal shortcoming?
Ask a few of your closest friends and co-workers for their perspective regarding one shortcoming that you could improve.
Using your power of vision, imagine the impact of improving one or two of your shortcomings.
Write down what action you will commit to taking to address your shortcomings.
Once you've completed these steps, finish the process by implementing the identified action!