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What Could It Be?

posted Sep 3, 2011, 4:29 PM by Eric Banks

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.”

-Rosabeth Moss Kanter


It’s been about a year now since the Tuesday that I woke up thinking about my visit to the Lions Club.  I had contacted them a few days before asking about the possibility of renting space for our group.  That morning, as I lay in bed regaining consciousness and praying about the day’s activities, including my visit with Lions schedule for that evening, these words popped into my head: “See it for what it could be, not for what it is…”   “Okay,” I thought, “that’s what I’ll do…”


So that evening, I ended class a few minutes early and left the community center eager to meet with the Lions.  They were just as eager to meet with me as they showed me the main area where they held their meetings.  It was nice and spacious.  The first thing I noticed was the smooth wood paneled floor and I thought, “Sweet…”  Then, they asked if I’d like to see the basement, to consider it as the place to rent, a place of our own.  It had its own restroom and an entrance on the side of the building, and we could use it anytime we desired, so I said, “Cool, let’s take a look.” 


Down the dark stairs we went and into the basement we ventured…  It was dark, dank and not all that inviting.  The green carpet was moldy and some of the baseboard plaster was a little water damaged.  Two sturdy but old desks sat in opposite corners in one room, and on the other side of the thin wall next to the garage door lay a crummy pile of bricks, a window unit air-conditioner, and an early 1980’s model refrigerator.  Large flakes of black paint curled away from the dirt covered windows, and the walls were almost as grimy as the dusty floor.   One or two double-sided, heavy signs filled the space between the restroom and another room, and arachnid-occupied webs adorned every nook, cranny and corner.   It had been years since this space was rented out, and it showed…and smelled as such.


As I walked around, getting a feel for the place, listening inwardly and gazing about, one of the men nodded and looked at me and said, “See it for what it could be, not for what it is…”  And so I did, and today we have an amazing, remodeled training space, a dojo, all our own.


Too often we judge places, other people and even ourselves by the outward and by the past when instead, we need to learn to look deeper to see things for what they could be, not for what they are…  What could you be?  Who do you desire to be?  No, not externally: rich, taller, beautiful, etc…  No, inwardly, where it really counts.  What type of person do you desire to be?  Who is your ideal you?  What could you really become, and then, what good could you really do, if you only looked inside and then tenaciously pursued that vision?   


As always, go deep, train hard, train smart.