Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.

What is a visionary?

At first blush, the title strikes me as lofty and full of oneself. I have resisted seeing myself as such because it felt pompous and self gratuitous.

I noticed that I was continually gravitating to biographies of visionaries, without consciously making such a decision. From da Vinci to Lincoln to Steve Jobs and so many others, I was fascinated by their life stories.

In each of the biographies, I saw the human side of these larger than life personas and recognized how the traditional forces of life were continually haranguing them as they do, me. With each of the stories and circumstances that I studied, the one factor that was common to all of these people was tenacity. A deep inner fire that was never going to let go, regardless of circumstance, obstacle, or any other life impedance.

By reducing these legends into humans with real life problems that required solution, the overwhelming lesson that has come through was there can be no obstacle that is insurmountable. If there is a vision, the solution to that vision must be on the other side of the obstacle.

Da Vinci was born out of wedlock and denied any formal education whatsoever. His status in society precluded him from many options that were available to other children in his neighborhood. Abraham Lincoln was faced with the tragic death of two sons, a wife who had mental illness and a country that was determined to crumble under his watch. Steve Jobs was incapable of being a good parent, thrown out of the company that he had founded and ultimately had to battle cancer.

Each of these men had countless other obstacles that I won’t take the time to delineate, but as I study their approach, the overwhelming commonality was an unwillingness to concede to the forces in life that appeared to dwarf their opportunity to succeed in their dreams. Instead, each found ways to leverage their disadvantages into some of their greatest successes.

The word visionary is defined as:

(especially of a person) thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom.

“a visionary leader”

I think many people are visionary. Some are more prone to act on their vision, while others are less inclined due to a host of reasons. For those who are willing to pursue their vision with everything that life has bestowed upon them, there is an unflinching passion that overwhelms any obstacle that will try to extinguish  the vision.

There is nothing superhuman about this character trait. It is truly born from desire and focus. It is propelled by wisdom and courage. It is triumphant because of tenacity and a determination to succeed that will supersede any of the fears that arise from life circumstances.

I learned a lot from these men, and many others. More than anything else, I found them to be relatable human beings whose life stories gave me the courage to continue to pursue my dreams in the face of all adversity.

You do not have to be a visionary to leverage these qualities, you only need believe in yourself. If you do that with full conviction, everything else will follow suit. 

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!