Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Any successful journey begins by packing your luggage full of imagination.
Kathrine Palmer Peterson
Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams–daydreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing–are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to invent, and therefore to foster, civilization.
L. Frank Baum
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say let your affairs be as one, two, three and to a hundred or a thousand. We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.
Henry David Thoreau
From little spark may burst a mighty flame.
Thoughts from Jim;
I have been reading excerpts from a book “Beyond Success” by Brian D. Biro. Brian is a motivational speaker on team building that used to be a United States Swimming coach in Southern Fernando Valley, California. Brian worked with athletes not for a season or semester, but year round. Some kids for 8 straight years, and during that time he had some incredible learning experiences. Following is one example, and her name is Allison.
Allison had been training, practicing, and working for 8 years on swimming techniques, and was always upbeat in attitude with a determination to work as hard as possible. One of her goals was to qualify for the Junior Olympics; she had come close a couple of times, and about the time she was really close, she would graduate or “age up” to the next level of competition. With each “age up” she had to start all over at the bottom. Finally she made it in her 8th year in the hundred-meter butterfly – the last year Brian would be a swimming coach. She hit the qualifying by 1/100 of a second. Any slower she would have not have qualified for the event. Brian was sure just the qualifying was the pinnacle of her swimming career and everyone on the team was thrilled Allison had made it.
Allison was a perfect example of what coaches call a drop-dead sprinter. She had good natural speed, but would inevitably “tie up” toward the end of her races. In other words she would die. Every time she would die, Brian would say in his most inspirational voice ” Allison, one of these days you are not going die.” Brian now refers it as great coaching moments. What happens is that the person this comment is directed to takes and only hears the part, of dieing at the end of the race. Unwittingly, Brian was directing both himself and Allison toward a belief she would die at the end of her races.
In warm ups, on the day of her race of Olympic Trails, Allison did a sprint that looked so phenomenal, that Brian bent down to her at the end of it and said ” Alison that was fantastic! Do you remember how you felt? Great! Remember how high you were on the water and how light and powerful you were?”
She yelled excitedly back “Yeah, Coach. I felt awesome! I can’t wait for my race!”
Then something was shook loose in Brian’s brain, and a new idea burst forth. He looked straight into Allison’s eyes and said, ” Allison, when you dive into the water for your 100-meter butterfly, I want you to remember just how you felt in that sprint. I’ll be standing right here, at the 75-meter mark. When you get to me with 25-meters to go, I’ll yell “NOW”. As soon as you hear me I want you to pretend that you just dove in to do that exact same sprint all over again. Can you see it?”
When Allison was ready to race, something else happened, all of her teammates decided to help by being at the 75-meter point to also yell “NOW”. Allison saw the support at the other end of the pool, and when the gun fired – she shot out of the block as she had never before. She opened up a body’s length on the rest of the heat, and with every stroke she would increase her lead. The team was going crazy, and as she neared the 50-meter mark, Brian looked at his watch and thought “This is great! She can die, and still do her best time”
At the 75-meter mark, all the team members yelled “NOW” in one voice. At this point Allison always died, race after race, year after year, but something magically happened, she suddenly exploded and literally climbed on top of the water. She hit the end of the pool and did not see any other swimmers around. She thought everyone else had finished and climbed out already. Brian looked at his watch, and could not believe the time. She had cut 10 seconds off of her time! By the time all the heats had finished, Allison had moved from 64th place to 1st place. In the final heat, she would be touched out at the end and finish second.
This was not the end of Brian’s learning from Allison. The team was not expected to do very well, they were not even expected to make a decent showing as a team. But when the team stood and all yelled “now!” behind Brian, the magic took fire. One by one, the other teammates took their turns at their own events. And one, by one, they started winning. When all the events were done, the points tallied, the team that was not expected to do anything, took home the championship trophy. The team had caught the fire, the magic, the energy they gave to Allison.
Allison taught Brian never to underestimate what we have inside. The people we think we know the best are the ones that can surprise us when they surpass the limitations they – and we – have set for them. There are no overachievers; we all have an infinite supply of potential. We are only limited by what we believe we can do. My mother would tell me when I was young that I could do anything I wanted, I just had to want to do it. Sometimes, our perceptions of others limit them as well as ourselves. Instead of when an impossible deadline approaches and we mutter ” No Way!” – we should remember Allison and break through our barriers and surpass all expectations, and say to ourselves, it is as good as done, and picture ourselves standing along side Allison.