Leaning Toward Wisdom
What Do You See? Your Vision Determines What You Can Accomplish (5020)
Jan 18, 2019 · 39 min
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The other night was listening to music (shocker, I know!). Specifically, I found myself listening to some older rock and roll. Dexter Freebish's "What Do You See?" popped into my ears. It's not a great song, but the question is a good one, and one I often work hard to help people wrestle with in my day job of executive coaching. Here are the lyrics to it: You might think you could be happy someday But you don't know how to look the other way What do you see When the rain falls down onto the ground each day What do you see When the sun don't shine and you cannot find your way You work a crap job, you don't know why You listen to them scream and you listen to them yell You watch them create your own little private hell You follow your orders, you never blink an eye But you don't know how to look the other way You might think you could be happy someday What do you see What do you see When the sun don't shine and you cannot find your way When the rain falls down onto the ground each day You wonder how you're gonna make it through the week You go to bed, but you cannot sleep You finally doze off, you fall into a dream You are the puppet who wants to cut its strings What do you see When the sun don't shine and you cannot find your way What do you see When the rain falls down onto the ground each day Vision versus blind spots is a common theme for me. It's something that comes up daily in my work. But it also seems to dominate my personal life. That whole "it's what you don't know that'll hurt you" thing. My entire life I've fixated on what I know versus what I don't know. My curiosity is driven by it because I'm painfully aware of how ignorant I am about so many things. Ignorant, not stupid. Ignorance is a willingness to learn. Stupidity is the inability to learn. Well, that's not entirely correct, but it's kinda sorta correct. We're all ignorant about many things, but they're things we could learn if we're willing. We're all stupid about some things, too. Like me and calculus. I lack the ability to learn it. I also lack the interest to learn it. Some things are just beyond me because of the depths of my stupidity. Time is my enemy with ignorance. There are so many things I'm ignorant about, but I'm willing to correct many of them. When your ignorance is so vast, time is the issue. I need to live to be about 1.000. I'm resigned that I'll die not knowing many things. I'm okay with it. Mostly because what am I going to do if I'm NOT okay with it? But today, it's not about time. It's about sight. Namely, it's about what you see versus what you don't see. Which is largely the same thing as what you know versus what you don't. Or what you believe versus what you don't believe. Since this Ballard Street was published some years ago I've joked with people, "I'm Nelson." It's true. I'm a lifelong dot-connector, always trying to make sense of things. Even things that make no sense. Especially when it comes to human behavior. And I'm often reminded that sometimes people behave crazily, to which friends will admonish me. "If it made sense to you, then you'd be as nuts as them." True. Yet I can still go crazy trying to figure it out. Largely my life is a commitment to the quest - to figure it out. Whatever IT may be. Think of a time when you thought you had it figured out, but something shocking happened, showing you that you were way off base. I know it's happened to you. Perhaps it happened about another person. You thought you understand the context of their life but realized there were important things you did not know. Things that completely altered how you viewed them. There was a sportscaster on TV once whose ongoing Ted Knight impersonation drove me crazy. He had that stereotypical announcer voice. It wasn't personal. I didn't know him personally, but I disliked his professional demeanor. He was fake and phony. Just not very good.
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