As a musician, my favorite things about movies are the songs that bring them to life. The song, "Pure Imagination" from the movie Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, has always played a role in my life as one of those random songs that always gets stuck in my head at the strangest times. I can walk around my office for hours singing, " If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it." Seriously. If I'm not singing it, then if you spend enough time with me, you'll more than likely catch me humming the tune.
Besides the fact that I have always loved Gene Wilder's voice (and portrayal of Willy Wonka), there is a clear message that always jumps out at me.
Just look around.
Often times we focus so much on what we don't have that we fail to see what we do. In fact, we have our sad violin story down to a science. The story that we tell so well is how we have either missed out, been looked over, don't have, or can't achieve something when in all actuality, we have everything we need within our reach.
When there is plenty, I skip over the basics and immediately go to the excess. But instead of moving me forward, the excess can sometimes be a distraction. I can get so caught up in the bells and whistles of things that I waste time with trivialities instead of pressing forward with what I'm really supposed to be doing. So now, I find that while they may be unpleasant, my most profound moments of clarity are those when the money is tight, when the deadlines are a breath away, and when all we can do is bet on ourselves. These have come to be my favorite moments because that's when I have no other choice but to simply look around and take a real inventory of what I have to work with.
Many of my artistic visions, scholastic ideas, business ventures and most creative solutions have come when I am down to nothing-when there is no extra money in the bank, when my supervisor doesn't give me sufficient funds to make a project work the way that I want it to or when the folks whom you thought had your back are the ones who have tried to destroy your efforts. Is it easy to get to this particular place of growth? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
But those things that are easy are rarely the things we need in our tool kit to get to where we want to go.
Identifying the actual NEEDS in our businesses, projects, ventures, and even relationships can eliminate unnecessary baggage and waste that we sometimes carry around with us to our destinations. If we would follow Mr. Wilder's words and simply look around, we could actually see that we are already in resource paradise. What we actually need to succeed many times is right at our fingertips.
Happy New Year!