Some people are visionaries, seeing what does not yet exist. One of the most popular shows on television is HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Joanna Gaines is a visionary, helping others to see the potential in dated, run down homes. She and her husband Chip restructure the spaces, turning what was once old and ugly into beautiful, livable homes.
I fell in love with a huge old house once. The floors were covered in shag carpeting, a different color in every room. The red velvet wallpaper in the dining room reminded me of one of those roadside velvet paintings of Elvis. The bathroom had an ugly, stained tub, beaded green curtains hanging from the ceiling and a mismatched cabinet. The basement held a homemade waterfall built of stone, surrounded by benches covered in a psychedelic print. At some time in the sixties it may have been someone’s idea of Playboy mansion chic.
People told me to run from that house. My husband didn’t see the potential I saw, but he was willing to trust that I had a plan. We bought the house and with some work, gradually revealed the beautiful home that had been hiding underneath. We removed carpet and refinished the hardwood floors. We took down the velvet wallpaper. We added wainscoting and new fixtures which revived the bathroom. Other people began to see what I had always seen in that house, it was a one of a kind jewel. It just took some imagination and creativity to uncover it.
Creativity isn’t just important in redesigning homes. The world needs creative visionaries to solve problems. We need people with new ideas and insights to shake up our thinking patterns. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” We have plenty of problems in this world that need solutions. We need people who can bring innovation and energy, who are not afraid to think differently and dream big.
I see potential where it is not obvious- in people, in jobs, and in buildings. My talent for envisioning has served me well. I have designed new programs and started new organizations. The words “creative,” “imaginative,” and “visionary” never appeared on my resume, but they are among my best skills. Now I am using them to design my own best life.
What about you? Do you see things as they are or as they could be?
Look at the awkwardly painted little structure in the picture below. Is it a worn out tool shed? A dog house? A child’s play house?
I added some flowers in the window, a little sign on the door and a stepping stone path. Next came a path light that looks like a magic wand. Then I added a Fairy and a Frog Prince, because clearly, this forlorn little shed is a Fairy house.