Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What is a Visionary?

Merriam - Webster defines the word 'VISIONARY' like this:

a : of the nature of a vision : illusory 
b : incapable of being realized or achieved : utopian <a visionary scheme> 
c : existing only in imagination : unreal
a : able or likely to see visions 
b : disposed to reverie or imagining : dreamy
: of, relating to, or characterized by visions or the power of vision
: having or marked by foresight and imagination <a visionary leader> <a visionary invention>
— vi·sion·ar·i·ness noun
Examples of VISIONARY
1. She is known as a visionary leader
2. He had a visionary experience.

But what is a visionary, really? And why have I been dubbed "Visionary Bri"?

The Center for Visionary Leadership says this:

"Visionary leaders are the builders of a new dawn, working with imagination, insight, and boldness. They present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. They work with the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. Their eyes are on the horizon, not just on the near at hand. They are social innovators and change agents, seeing the big picture and thinking strategically.

There is a profound interconnectedness between the leader and the whole, and true visionary leaders serve the good of the whole. They recognize that there is some truth on both sides of most polarized issues in our society today. They search for solutions that transcend the usual adversarial approaches and address the causal level of problems. They find a higher synthesis of the best of both sides of an issue and address the systemic root causes of problems to create real breakthroughs."

In short, we visionaries are the dreamers of the future. We see not only what this would is, but what this would can become and we work tirelessly to make those two versions merge. We are revolutionaries, imagine-ers, followers of our gut and instinct. We guide others along to their true potential and create networks of like-minded people. With a visionary around, everyone benefits. We are the rally-points, the spearheads and the cavalry calls for new and innovative projects. Often, we feel compelled to be this way. It's a burning passion inside of us that doesn't rest for long. We dream, we create and we build because we feel that we are called to do so. Whether we make money or not, following our visions, it doesn't matter. It also doesn't matter if the world listens to us. We will keep true to our path and persevere.

But not only are we leaders, our type of leadership has its' own brand. We lead with integrity, with conviction and with an inner light that seems to shine through us. We do not stand for profits, for greed, for personal gain or for hate of any kind. What we stand for is a connectivity of all people, no matter their differences and we will not backstab others for our own gain. Visionaries are not corrupted by power - we are uplifted by it and use it well. Visionaries offer a clear picture of what is possible and we inspire others to believe that we, as a whole, can get there.

Visionaries are not about manipulating with fear, as some politicians or leaders are. Instead, we seek to empower the people around us. We seek to give them confidence and a sense of strength similar to our own. We understand that taking power away from someone only hurts the whole. We are in service to the betterment of the whole, of the entire human family.

In contrast to most leaders we see today, Visionaries do not tell people what to do. We don't push them towards things they aren't ready for and we don't dominate them. Each being has its own free will and that must not be taken away from them. Visionaries listen to those around them more than other leaders do. We are open to new ideas and perspectives that we may not have considered before.

Visionaries are receptive to change. When presented with a better method of doing something than the one we've thought of, we do not find that challenging or "insubordination." Instead, we find it to be enlightening. What a wonderful revelation!

Instead of being out for ourselves, we embody a sense of community. Other people, their knowledge and talents are our greatest assets. It is said that, "Everyone you meet knows something that you don't." We realize this and embrace it. We are willing to learn, to pull back and to refocus.

Even though we can see into the world of the future, we visionaries are interested in solutions that actually work. We don't just want things that look good on paper. We want the nuts and the bolts and the real world solutions to be reasonable and sustainable. Everything needs to be actionable and attainable in order for it to be considered a valid idea. The other side of that is that we see more things as attainable than most people do and we will happily guide others far beyond what they ever thought possible.

Again, The Center for Visionary Leadership says:

"When we see a truly visionary leader accomplishing great things, s/he is drawing on the resources of their soul and its remarkable capabilities. Each of us can access our inner resources to become a more effective leader in our own field. First we must be willing to take initiative and stand for something we believe in passionately. We must be ready to take the heat. Many of us avoid the responsibility of leadership primarily because we are too sensitive to criticism. But when we know who we truly are and we live from an inner core of values, criticism can be filtered to take in only what is true and helpful to our growth."

This reason is why I close almost every blog post with my motto: "We are all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel."

If a person can find where their passion lies, they will almost naturally become a visionary. Their eyes light up, their soul opens and they develop a very strong sense of values and of community, when this happens. Their potential has been unlocked.

I have been dubbed "Visionary Bri" because of all these qualities. Through the years, friends have told me that they exist in me. When I was searching for a name for this blog, I often Googled some of the qualities that others had described in me. Time after time, the word "visionary" came up. I took it as a sign and adopted the moniker.

I've seen some criticism regarding dubbing yourself a visionary. When I read this criticism, I often think that the person is doing an awful lot of judging. Everyone's path is different. If you want to call yourself "Llama Joe," feel free. No matter what we choose to be known as, it is merely a name. A name does, in fact, help us identify traits about a person, but they're just words. I respond just as readily to plain ol' "Bri" or even "Hey, you!" Honestly, criticism reveals more about the person writing it than what they are writing about. Through criticism, we can see what filters the critic views the world through. If he uses racial slurs, that's a filter. If there's sexual shaming, that's another filter. I don't pay too much heed to negative criticism. It doesn't change what I feel called to put out into the world.

In the culture that I came from, each person has at least 3 names in their lifetime. One for youth, one for adulthood and one for being an elder. Taking different names symbolizes the different lessons we learn in each phase of life. A new name may even come after a particularly significant spiritual event.

I have had many names in my life. I've been known by many monikers for many different situations. Each were me, at the time, and each was just a word that I answered to. They did not define me. This new name I have taken, I feel, is the one that keeps me on this path the best. I am a visionary. Criticism for using that word, myself, does not deter the deep soul-feeling of connection that says, "Yes. That is the word. That is the name. Live up to it!" 

See? I deeply feel that each of us can follow our dreams, find our purpose and live this life wrapped in bliss. I believe that every person on the face of the planet can have joy and love that goes all the way down to your tiptoes. You can be fed, you can be supported, you don't have to struggle and you can have big, roaring belly-laughs and true connection with others every single day.

This is my purpose. This is my calling. Every time someone calls me "Visionary," it reminds me of this goal and this calling. Every time I hear or read that word, I am called up out of the daily life. Up and above the details of car insurance and "I've gotta eat" and "Where are my meds" and "I just HAD my cell phone." That word calls me up, calls me out of myself and reminds me of the wise self that I have and am called to be. That one word, "visionary," makes me remember, "Yeah. Higher purpose. Calling. Wise self. Don't get mired down in the details of 'the car doesn't have enough gas to get there.'" Daily life happens and even I need reminders from time to time. Thus I am, am called, and I answer to "Visionary Bri."

What little tricks can you use to call yourself up and remind you that you are, in fact, an awesomely wise and creative soul? Will signs with affirmations around your house help? Will taking a new name to be called help? Leave me a comment or email me at brifloorwilson(at)gmail(dot)com. I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time, my precious ones, please remember that we are all (every single one of us) visionaries. We jut have to figure out where we excel.

Love to All,


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