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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Reality and Imagination

Many years ago while driving, I saw a bumper sticker I really liked.

It read, "Reality is for people who lack imagination."

This was literally decades before I read Walter Issacson's biography of Leonardo Da Vinci, but Issacson brilliantly articulated the basic idea presented in that simple bumper sticker at the very end of his book:

"This inability to ground his fantasies in reality has generally been regarded as one of Leonardo’s major failings. Yet in order to be a true visionary, one has to be willing to overreach and to fail some of the time. Innovation requires a reality distortion field. The things he envisioned for the future often came to pass, even if it took a few centuries. Scuba gear, flying machines, and helicopters now exist. Suction pumps now drain swamps. Along the route of the canal that Leonardo drew there is now a major highway. Sometimes fantasies are paths to reality."

Leonardo Da Vinci. Thomas Edison. Sam Walton. Steve Jobs. Jeff Bezos. Elon Musk.

Show me any great entrepreneur in history, and I'll show you someone who chose to ignore the way things actually were at the time and instead pursue their imagined vision of the way things could be.

Experience reality, and use it to understand what isn't working the way it should.

Then start using your imagination.

It's the first step towards making things better.


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