Posted by: Brad Stanford | October 19, 2009

Scanning The Horizon While Swabbing The Deck

Stephen Wright once said he was a peripheral visionary. He could see into the future, but only way off to the side. I identify with that a lot.

A slow day is when I have tens of ideas. At bedtime, I usually have tens more. By the time the end of the month comes, thousands of ideas have come and gone. I don’t pursue them because the are distractions from my mission here. I’m not an inventor, agent pro-patenture, or any other thing that would require me to pursue these ideas. I have also learned that if I wait long enough, someone else will manufacture the items that were generic in nature, as opposed to those only I can do.

When I was all about the money, this used to make me upset. All I could see was that I was too slow to market, or someone else was making money off of “my” idea. Indeed, if it was mine, how did someone steal it out of my head? There are parts of progress that will naturally come about regardless of who is around. Then there are things assigned only to me. Those are the things I wish to focus on.

For instance: while someone might invent a better way to teach kids in general, only my wife or I can invent a method to teach my kids in a way that is specific to their gifts, personality, and daily history, for we are  the only ones who have seen all of those in totality. I try to focus on things like that.

Then there are some things that are shades of gray. I have three ideas for reinvigorating the economy of Erath county: digital/remote manufacturing, waste to energy conversion, and plastics back into petroleum. All of these things are being done, and are on the cutting edge of the new industrio-energy renaissance. I have no idea if I’m supposed to bring those to light, or if they will naturally happen without me. I tend toward the latter, but feel called to the former.

All the while, I have irons in the fire right now that need tending. If I’m supposed to help usher in the industrio-energy renaissance, all I can do for now is begin to steer the ship in that direction. In the meantime, I continue to do everything else I need to do to keep the ship running, so we can keep moving. Without a vessel, there’s no way to set sail. Without a destination, there is no reason to set sail. So I scan the horizon while swabbing the deck, adjusting both clipper and course, so that all might be complete in due time.

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