Seeing Is Not Believing
The season of Santa brings us all a little closer to our inner-child. We love to perpetuate the silly belief of a man dressed in red, flying around the world delivering presents on a sleigh powered by super-natural reindeer. Seems just a little far-fetched, right?
Of course it does. And, that’s perfectly fine. It’s actually better than fine, it’s exactly how it should be. See, kids don’t need to see it to believe it. They just believe, site unseen.
Sure they get pictures, stories, and a random glimpse at a department store to preserve the idea but in large part they believe for one simple reason: they want to believe.
Why Should We Care?
The whole ‘see it to believe’ mindset sets us up for failure in two directions.
First of all, the work.
If we wait until we can see it before we start working, we’re never going to grasp our full potential. Excellent performers in any field are not waiting to see concrete results before they decide to invest. It’s quite the opposite. They invest in the work in full belief that results will follow. People love to put in the extra work when they see an opportunity in front of them - a big game, a presentation, a potential promotion or move into the starting lineup. We see it all the time: “Big game, let me get some extra work in.” It’s too late now. The work for a big game was done months, if not years ago. We should have been working like it was in front of us then, not now. We waited to see it when we should’ve just believed it.
Second, the potential.
Henry Ford believed it before it was here. So did Thomas Edison, George Washington Carver, and Marie Curie. The vision in their mind was clear only to them. It was their belief that drove them. Not only did these revolutionary minds not see it, they were completely surrounded by people that had never seen anything like what they believed in. It was literally impossible for anyone to have seen it. Our journey is not that far removed. Our life is unique from anyone else’s. No one knows our potential. If we choose to wait to see before we believe, it’s likely we’ll never know our potential either. In reflection, understanding we had failed to even approach our potential must be one of the most demoralizing realization there could be.
Living backwards, seeing to prepare rather than preparing to see, is as damaging to the trajectory of our life as any choice we make.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
As is usually the case, kids have it right - before we adults screw them up by speaking reality to them. Reality is such a drab place to live. Here are a few ideas on maintaining belief without proof.
We don’t need to see it to believe it.
We must believe it in order to ever see it.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.