“He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.” ~Douglas Adams
Who doesn’t like to dream? Fantasies, daydreams, whimsies of all kinds are pleasant and indulgent. Dreams are thought candy—enjoyable in the right quantity and within a balanced thought diet.
Anyone who ever left a mark on this world had a dream. Whether they created a business, governed a country, or created a movement, it all started in their mind and heart as a dream. At the beginning, that dream might have been laced with fantasies of fame or riches or power. They may have pictured successes or accolades or respect. Therein lie the temptations and the snares of big dreams.Advertising
Of course it doesn’t stop there: dreaming is a place to start, but not one to prematurely end. Bringing a dream into the real world involves facing down challenges and problems, obstacles and outright resistance. So what separates the dreamers from the visionaries? How does a dream move from fantasy to reality?
When the Reality Kicks In
When we call someone a dreamer, it is rarely a compliment. We generally mean someone who is unfocused or lost in their own thoughts, and we expect that they are unlikely to do anything of value or to make any meaningful impact.Advertising
When we call someone a visionary, however, it is an entirely different matter. They are someone we see as ahead of their time, bold and adventurous. We expect them to do great things. The difference is they make things happen here in the real world.
So what is vision that makes it so different from dreaming? Vision is the result of applying the laws of physics, human nature and economics to a dream so as to transform that dream into a reality. The visionary ceases to luxuriate in all the possibilities that are inherent to dreaming, picks one and makes it real. Being a dreamer is a prerequisite for being a visionary but it is hardly a given that every dreamer becomes a visionary. Vision calls for refinement and many dreamers just aren’t willing to do the work or make the sacrifices that such refinement requires.
Does business or government or education or religion require vision? No. There are plenty of visionless organizations with visionless leaders. If that doesn’t sound very inspiring it is because it isn’t: vision is a motivator and so it is understandable that visionless organizations don’t do much to improve the world we live in. In fact, they are usually attempting to be a force to maintain the status quo. For anything to move forward, upward or onward, vision is required. Even small organizations can have an impact with enough vision behind them, and small organizations with vision often become large organizations. That’s how we got Kiva and NPR, Amber Alerts and Girl Scout cookies. It’s also how we got organic vegan mexican food at Gracia Madre and delicious Jersey milk and yogurt from Saint Benoit Creamery.Advertising
Don’t know those last two? It’s probably because they are also committed to being local in addition to healthy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t visionary outfits lead by visionary people. There are times when the vision is deep rather than broad. That’s the great thing about vision—it is up to the visionary to choose.
Why Visionaries are Willing to Pay the Price
By now you have probably figured out that you can dream all you want for free but there is a price for being visionary. To turn a dream into a vision means making hard choices: it means ditching frivolous attachments and speculative leanings. That might sound like it would suck all the joy out of your dream, but consider this: would you prefer to spend your days wishing you had the perfect pony with a flowing mane and trophy-winning speed, or riding your own real live horse?
Not everyone is meant to saddle up. You might want the horse, you might want the race, or you might want the stables. There is a lot of room for complementary visions. Whatever your dream may be, one truth remains: it is vision that transforms dreams into reality. So buy that horse, because until you do there is nothing to ride. Learn to ride that horse until you can race, then race the best you can. Win or lose, you are now beyond the dream, doing something real.Advertising
Not every visionary is a household name but every visionary makes a difference. Join the ranks of those who, big and small, are making an impact because they are living their vision and not merely indulging some dream.
Last Updated on July 15, 2019
41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About
Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.
Love is one of those things.
True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.
True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves
A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama
A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults
A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com
A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute
It’s having the perfect selfie partner
A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh
Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis
A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman
Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido
Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams
It’s all the warm fuzzies
A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler
A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu
It means having a friend to photobomb you
A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley
A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank
Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham
A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy
True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard
A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army
During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco
A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis
A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com
A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt
An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif
A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.
A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news
It means taking the time for long goodbyes
A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page
A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard
A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard
And cherishing reunions
A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army
A young woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard
A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard
True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around
Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff
A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph
A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg
A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams
A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler
It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it
A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce
A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot
True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel
A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key
Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris
True love is timeless
Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes
A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock
An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti
Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com