Are you feeling stuck? Here’s something that will get you moving again.
To create anything life-changing, or earth-changing, you have to be willing to look a little crazy up front!
Early in 1994, Jeff Bezos left his secure New York finance job, flew to Texas on Independence Day, and headed for Seattle by car to start what most people thought was a sure-to-fail venture, an internet bookstore. His wife Mackenzie drove while Jeff typed a business plan. They named the company Amazon after the South American river that has seemingly endless branches. They started in their two-bedroom house, using three Sun Microstations set up on desks made from Home Depot doors powered by extension cords running to the garage.
“I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew
the one thing I might regret was not trying.”
On July 16, 1995, Bezos opened amazon.com to the world and asked 300 friends and acquaintances who tested it to spread the word. And they did! In 30 days, with no press, Amazon sold books in 50 states and 45 foreign countries; by September, sales were $20,000 a week. Early naysayers thought Bezos would lose his shirt but in 2015 Forbes listed his net worth at $50.4 billion!
Thanks, Jeff and Mackenzie, for moving ahead through investor-payback concerns and “the unexplored jungle of internet-business.” Our lives would be quite different without your committed action! Today many of the things we buy, read and view are delivered via Amazon, Kindle and Prime.
Here’s something most people never fully appreciate… the road to dreams isn’t a straight line.
Like a river, it’s curving and meandering, treacherous and unpredictable. To reach our imagined destinations, we must constantly recommit and keep taking action. What we were taught as kids… to not do anything unless we know how for sure… is holding us back now as adults.
The same year high up in the Palomar Observatory, Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker and David Levy had been spending months getting ready to photograph something historic… the first collision of two solar system bodies ever photographed by man! A comet had been drawn into Jupiter’s gravitational field and fractured into 21 pieces that were about to strike Jupiter’s surface like a string of nuclear bullets! They were committed to capturing that sight on film. The Shoemaker-Levy team was ready to start shooting when they discovered someone had accidentally opened the film box and exposed the film. It was overcast so seeing the comet at all was highly unlikely. Doubt set in.
They found themselves at a crucial choice point all of us face some time in our lives: Quit or Continue? Committed to capturing those images, they decided “to go for it anyway” and started shooting using film exposed along the edges hoping it would be usable farther in. And it was! When Carolyn viewed the film later, there was the comet in the middle of the first shot! In honor of their skill and persistence, the history-making comet was named the Shoemaker-Levy.
Call it prayer or intention… either way, the ability to hold an outcome and turn obstacles into opportunities is one of the astounding powers our human brain gives us… if we can learn how to use it.
Are we are sending ourselves, and our kids, the wrong message about creativity?
Creativity isn’t carefully planned and detailed out up front. Creativity is messy! It’s coincidences and accidents; it’s chemicals overheated or mixed incorrectly and hands left unwashed. Any one of these unexpected errors can lead to a breakthrough if an alert observer notices and seizes the opportunity… like the Johns Hopkins University researcher who noticed the bread he made for dinner tasted unusually sweet. Wondering why, he remembered that he had forgotten to wash his hands after handling a chemical in his lab so he started experimenting and patented saccharin.
Not all new projects turn out the way their creators expect… like flickr that began as a game but thrilled its inventors by becoming the most-used site for sharing photos online. Or potato chips that became a taste sensation because an annoying customer kept complaining that his potatoes were too thick and soggy and an irritated chef cut his potatoes thinner and thinner. Once you create a dream, you need to let it lead you, even if where it takes you is beside, above, below or beyond where you thought!
The “real power” of dreams… this story can help you and your kids realize your dreams!
During the Korean War Stanford University neurosurgeon, Dr. Karl Pribram was operating on shrapnel-injured soldiers when he observed something unexpected. The science he’d been taught in school proclaimed that specific memories were stored in specific locations in the brain. If that part of the brain were destroyed, that part of the memory would also be destroyed. But it wasn’t! These brain-injured soldiers were remembering things they shouldn’t have been able to remember! The memories were less clear than usual, but they were still there! Something was wrong with “the old science.”
Soon Pribram stumbled upon an article in a scientific journal about something newly discovered, Holograms. In a flash he realized this was a clue. Memory, he concluded, is stored holographically… whole in each part … instead of photographically, part in each part. Suddenly his war findings made sense! He proposed Holographic Brain Theory to the scientific world… to much initial disagreement of course! But to a Nobel Prize nomination!
Pribram discovered something else you need to know!
Thoughts generate an electromagnetic forcefield that is measurable. Thoughts it turns out are quite literally magnetic!
So dreams that make you feel like you’re already there are quite powerful indeed!
Virtual Reality Googles
Now science has presented us with Virtual Reality Goggles that we can put on to experience being and doing virtually anything, anywhere. And experience it from all sides, in full color and sound. That let usbe there in our brains… the very thing we need to do to create powerful dreams and seize life-changing opportunities. And Microsoft has just introduced their new HoloLens.
It’s time to tell yourself “a new holographic truth”… not all dreams you follow are yours!
Whose dreams are you pre-experiencing in your brain as you approach life day by day… your dreams, your parents’, your teachers’, your bosses’, your society’s? Or some complicated, interacting, inter-conflicting mix that is pulling and tugging at you, adding and subtracting from your brain’s attractive power?
Do you really want the dreams you are pursuing consciously and unconsciously, or it is time to weed old ones and create new ones? Ones that are truly yours now, ones that make you eager and excited about life.
The Case for Teaching Ignorance
In Jamie Holmes's New York Times op ed,The Case for Teaching Ignorance, neuroscientist Dr. Stuart J. Firestein reveals a truth most people don't understand: Unlike the neat, linear process most people imagine, discovery usually involves "feeling around in dark rooms, bumping into unidentifiable things, looking for barely perceptible phantoms." Social scientist Michael Smithson draws us a new map, "The larger the island of knowledge grows, the longer the shoreline — where knowledge meets ignorance — extends." The more answers emerge, the more questions need to be answered... good news indeed for students and researchers!
It’s time to let go of old limits and impossibles and feel our way into new dreams and possibilities!
Let’s take a minute to update the title of this article from… DREAM passionately*… to DREAM holographically*… in vivid sensory detail… to see your dream in advance, hear it, feel it, smell it and even taste it. To live it in virtual reality! Don’t worry about knowing exactly how yet. You will be shown how… if you pay attention to what’s coming in and you are willing to continue taking action.
It’s time to tell yourself “a new holographic truth”… not all dreams you are pursuing are really yours!
Whose dreams are you pre-experiencing in your brain as you approach life day by day… yours, your parents’, your teachers’, your bosses’, your society’s… or some complicated, interacting, inter-conflicting mix that’s pulling and tugging at you, adding and subtracting from your brain’s attractive power?
Do you really want the dreams you’re pursuing consciously and unconsciously, or it is time to weed out old ones and create new ones that make you eager and excited about life? Dreams that will lead you to the joy of/the-books/ success!
c) Susan Ford Collins. For permission to use this article, email firstname.lastname@example.org
* For more on Self-Confidence, read Skill 1 in The Joy of Success and Our Children Are Watching.
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