Peace is easily maintained;
Trouble is easily overcome before it starts.
The brittle is easily shattered;
The small is easily scattered.
Deal with it before it happens.
Set things in order before there is confusion.
A tree as great as a man’s embrace springs from a small shoot;
A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.
— Tao Te Ching, 64
To me, the true visionaries are not visionary because they see something that doesn’t exist, but because they see something that does exist and what could be made from it, even if at first it is only a small fragment of an idea. Perhaps that’s just the engineering point of view, but I think a lot of people get stuck because they can’t grasp that we have to go from where we are.
A lot of times when I am feeling stuck, I have to step back and realize how much of what I’ve wanted in my life I have already accomplished, and that it is simply now my ideas of what I can do have become larger, or perhaps taken a different focus. And yes, there are lots of days I wish I could go back and be younger or do something differently, but it is the choices I’ve made that brought me here. It may not be what I originally envisioned, it may not yet be what I envision for the future, but it is an accomplishment of many visions over the years. Some days my life seems to fall apart into bits and pieces, and I just have to work on that one small thing. When I was very very depressed, a day’s accomplishment might just be to get a shower and take care of myself, but I had to feel that it was enough, then. Now, I want to accomplish larger things, but they are all still in fragments in my head.
What I will make from here on I don’t yet know. I can envision many possibilities, but which ones will play out I can’t say. I keep thinking that I have time now, I have money, I should be accomplishing more than I am. But then again, I have learned how to simply be, and that is something I could not have accomplished in the past. Perhaps now I have the resources to learn to go and do in ways that are more appropriate to my being.
“They consider me to have sharp and penetrating vision because I see them through the mesh of a sieve.”
— Kahlil Gibran
“In the night we stumble over things and become acutely conscious of their separateness, but the day reveals the unity which embraces them. ” — Rabindranath Tagore
“Art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes.”
— Kahlil Gibran
“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” — Rosabeth Moss Kanter
“The life of a man consists not in seeing visions and in dreaming dreams, but in active charity and in willing service.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
— Cecil Beaton
“The ultimate function of prophecy is not to tell the future, but to make it. Your successful past will block your visions of the future.” — Joel Barker
“Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.”
— Bruce Barton
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” — Oscar Wilde
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” — Henri Matisse
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”
— Camille Pissarro
“A narrow vision is divisive, a broad vision expansive. But a divine vision is all-inclusive.”
— H. H. Swami Tejomayananda
“The books first turn up as fragmentary pictures in my head, usually, disconnected scenes that I then have to explain to myself, and eventually the reader. They don’t turn up all at once, of course, or my head would explode… If I knew how the books were going to end before embarking on them, there would be little reason to write them, after all. Dag says it best, in Passage: “The most important thing about quests, he decided, was not in finding what you went looking for, but in finding what you never could have imagined before you ventured forth.”” — Lois McMaster Bujold
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe