One of the most intriguing documentaries I’ve seen in recent years was one produced by Sydney Pollack about world renowned architect, Frank Gehry, called the “Sketches of Frank Gehry”. The basis of the film was not so much about showcasing his famous designs, nor about his personal life; rather its focus was on the way his brilliant mind works. It was fascinating to say the least to watch him build models out of sticks, playing cards, and tin cans, driving his engineers crazy with his out-of-the-box – better yet, bizarre – designs. Yet his works throughout the world are tourist attractions – the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao located in the Spanish Basque Country, the Dancing House in Prague, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis to name a few. Frank Gehry’s buildings are like no other structures the world has ever seen. They are uniquely outlandish, like Frank Gehry himself who more than being an architect is a visionary.
Visionaries are not mere day dreamers, they see possibilities no one else ever imagined. But more than that they believe their visions can become reality – and determinedly they do. Visionaries are the innovators of the world like Steve Jobs who we talked about last week, Bill Gates, and from an earlier time people like Henry Ford or the Founding Fathers of our country.
Here’s a little secret, you and I are visionaries too; for we each possess an imagination that is uniquely ours through which we visualize our lives being certain way. But more importantly we have the ability, if we are so determined, to make that vision become reality. That’s what vision is, the picture we have in our minds that provides us direction and purpose, without which we are simply going through the motions.
Few of us will design buildings that become tourist attractions like Frank Gehry, or revolutionize the communications systems or modes of transportation. But we each have the ability to make a difference – within our families, communities, businesses and workplaces – when we take seriously that unique vision that is only ours and determinedly move it toward reality.