The Visionary vs the Realist: The Careful Path We Tread
October 21, 2014
I've always been pretty practical. I mean, I am a builder. I have a business. I have a family. All of those things will ground you in a different, but very profound way.
If you are any one of those things, you know what I am talking about. You understand how people without children don't know what it is to care for someone for years, and 'get' that commitment.
If you aren't a builder, you can't fully comprehend the focus it takes to put a whole building together, and see it in your mind's eye, in layers of wood, shingles, flooring and insulation.
I could go on, but I know you get it.
My point is this: Experience changes you, and it tempers you. It grounds you, if you like that term.
So, at the same time, too much practicality can be boring. It can give you goals that are achievable. It can give you missions that aren't all that inspiring.
There's power in both directions. I mean, we need serious tools and people who can create strategies that are going to actually solve problems and, well, work, right?
And at the same time, we need bold missions that show we aren't taking baby steps or playing it safe.
If you have too much of one or the other, we have a vision that is bold but has no chance of actually making a difference. Or, you have a vision that plods and garners snail-like results.
So, it's tricky.
When I started my camp, Hawk Circle, I would love to say that I took all that idealism and I added practicality and tempered it together, like Iron and Steel.
But that wouldn't be true.
I did it my way. I walked to my own drum and I did it the way I thought was right. I was walking my vision, and following the spirit that lead me down this road to begin with. I felt empowered. I ran programs that changed people's lives.
As a kid who grew up pretty shy and struggling, I can honestly say that it was the most incredible thing I had ever attempted in my life, and it changed me inside and out. I was grateful for the whole experience.
But if I am being fully honest, I will also admit, looking back, that I struggled.
I struggled to pay the bills. I struggled to get students at times. I struggled to put all the different aspects of my 'vision' (read: my business), together in a very workable way.
I struggled because I didn't have experience. And that pain was real! I paid for that lack of knowledge with lots of frustration and head banging.
If you've ever struggled and knew what you needed, but you couldn't find a way to make it happen, that's frustrating. If you struggled and you didn't even know what the source of that struggle is, that's also painful.
Here's the deal: Most young entrepreneurs are struggling. They are missing key details that keep them broke, or frustrated or working far, far harder than they need to.
And sadly, they don't even know it.
In the Visionary Nature Education Program Communities I have been connected to, struggle is almost a culturally accepted part of the landscape. I mean, it's almost built in. Of course, that's all 'behind the scenes', and they are mostly not giving up, but it's there.
Yes, I know. That's depressing. But luckily, we can change that.
I think that's our challenge. Balancing those powerful visions with experience.
We get the best of both worlds.
We get the energy and boost from those visions, right?
And we get to avoid making all those little mistakes that sap our energy and our momentum. We get to experience how easy it can be when we put it all together right.
We need a lot more of that if we're going to reconnect enough people to the natural world.
I kind of wish that the spiritual leaders I had when I started my camp and vision had told me some of this. It really would have come in handy!