Bernie Anderson
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Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Vision: Why YOLO went out in 2012

"You should live every day as if it will be your last"


It's the fodder of so many movies and motivational speeches (and posters, and books, and other things that try to be motivational).

It's also generally terrible advice.

That's why YOLO went out in 2012.

According to psychologist Daniel Gilbert, humans are the only creatures on the planet who have the "ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real." He goes on to say that is this very ability that allows us to think about the future.

The human brain is an ‘anticipation machine’ and ‘making future’ is the most important thing it does.
— Daniel Gilbert

"Vision" is something that gets talked about a lot in the circles I run in. As it probably should be. My struggle with the concept has always been its vague and nebulous nature. In my journey, I've been called a dreamer and a visionary leader. I've also been turned down for a leadership position because "We want someone who's more visionary."

To this day, I'm not sure I know what any of that means.

Vision is not telling fortunes or a soothsayer ability to see the specifics of the future.

Vision is an imagined future of possibilities.

Those words are important.

Imagined: This is cracking into our God-given ability to think in the abstract. To "make future." To form a mental image of something that doesn't exist yet.

Future: To think forward. To ponder what life and work might look a day from now, a year from now, a decade from now. Even a century from now, beyond the days we ourselves will be breathing this air.

Possibilities: There is more than one option. Always. What are they? Vision is an incredibly creative act that tells a variety of stories about what could be.

A leader with vision, by definition, can't live as if every day is her last.

Because the future has too many possibilities to be that short-sighted.