Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Colour of my Parachute

Pink Lady finds herself in the grips of a nasty head cold, yet is still somehow inspired to blog. Can't complain...

Pink Lady recently attended an innovation seminar, where the keynote speaker was Sarah Miller Caldicott, great-grand niece of Thomas Edison. She (together with co-author Michael Gelb) has written a book called Innovate Like Edison, which Pink Lady was immediatly inspired to purchase. She is now in the process of reading her copy (signed by the author). Pink Lady truly does not recall being so inspired by any book - perhaps ever!

Edison was a genuinely brilliant man. Most people know that he was a great inventor, but may not know that he was such a brilliant - and innovative - business man as well. He not only invented things, he also productized, manufactured, marketed and delivered them right to people's homes! He had thousands of employees. He also understood the importance of both leadership and of networking - he realized that we can achieve nothing witout other people. So he was anything but the prototypical "lone inventor" locked up in his ivory tower. He did lock himself up in his room to think, but he also collaborated with other brilliant minds.

As Pink Lady was listening the Sarah Miller Caldicott speak, she was actually listening on two levels: she was listening to, and fascinated by, the subject matter, yet she was also looking at the proceedings on another level: she was imagining herself as the author of a non-fiction book, up there on the stage speaking about it and then signing autographs. The dream has been identified and now it's just a question of making it a reality.

Nothing in life happens before we can first see it happening in our minds. So day-dreaming is far from being a waste of time: it's "mind creation". Athletes know the power of seeing themselves winning or beating a record in their minds; they need to see themselves as winners before they can become winners in the real world. Athletes say that it's about 90% mental.

Yet the same applies to everything in our lives, not matter what field we are in. You can't get what you want 'til you know what you want. We first need to see - and feel - our goal clearly in our minds and then start taking the concrete steps needed to make it a reality. Pink Lady has seen the light (pun intended) - what colour is your parachute?

Pink Lady, signing out - and wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

P.S. Pink Lady took the attached photo on a hot air ballooning trip.