I read a lot, and find a lot of interesting material that floats around in the back of my head, and then comes out in all sorts of ways.

In my leisure reading I have been reading a series of books by crime fiction writer Michael Connelly. It is in one of his books that I found the seed for this post. He described an engraving that said…

Vision to See

Faith to Believe

Courage to Do

I had a rough outline for a post and then as part of my online reading I was at another site , and it caused a re-assessment of what I was going to write.

The Vision Thingy

Vision to see.

When most people think of the word vision, especially when they think of it in terms of self-development, they think in terms of goals, and where they are going.

They refer to the ability to see and define the possibilities of the future and set themselves on a path to reaching that goal. This is a valuable frame of reference that helps many people achieve a lot in life, but it is an external frame of reference.

What about vision from an internal, or inward-looking perspective?

In this perspective, vision is about seeing ourselves as we truly are. It means stripping away the layers of deception and the masks that we routinely present to the external world and come to accept as ourselves.

It means negotiating yourself past that internal dialogue that is either full of bullshit and bravado about how good we are and over-estimates our abilities, or full of the other type of bullshit about how inadequate we are.

It means taking stock of the very core of who we are, without the baggage that has been built up over our lifetime. To get there we have to look closely and with great attention. We need to remain aware and awake to catch the thoughts that attempt to maintain the masks. We will be navigating across rough waters to see the calm and peaceful core that exists in all of us.

Keep the Faith

Faith to Believe

Belief means many things to many people. To some people it means their theological beliefs, most of which are some form of homage to an external deity, to others, it means their self-belief or ego. There have been challenges on this site before about examining our beliefs.

When discussing beliefs in terms of personal development people are again often focused on an external frame of reference that relies on a “belief” in our ability to take action and conquer our fears along the way to the goal set by our vision of our possible future.

What about our faith to believe from an internal perspective?

From an internal perspective, the courage to believe is about the courage to maintain that watching vigil established by your internally focused vision.

It means having the faith that you will be able to find that calm and peaceful core and that you will be able to maintain a connection with it no matter what those rough seas and foggy skies, internal dialogue and shifting masks of our minds might do to try to obscure the vision of it.


Courage to Do

Most discussion about courage in the self-development world is also externally focused. The discussion tends to revolve around our taking risks, our ability to get up and get things done, to take action towards the goals and future that our vision has defined.

What about the courage to do from an internal perspective?

A recent post discussed how to be courageous that touched on the internal perspective of courage, but it extends further than this.

The courage to do in this perspective is about stillness, not action. It is about having the courage to go looking, it means having the courage to battle those voices of bravado or doubt, it means having the courage to ask the questions necessary to defeat the false arguments put forward by those voices about why we don’t need to go looking or about why we are inadequate. It means having the courage to keep watch over our thoughts.

The courage to do is about being willing to see we you truly are, to believe in the value and nature of our core and to have the courage to sit with that truth no matter what the internal or external world may throw at us.

Are you willing to really see, believe and do?


Creative Commons images in this post by Paul-Simpson.org, Mike Licht and  CarbonNYC @flickr