Do You “Believe Beyond Reason?”

When Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western television series,Firefly,” was cancelled by the Fox network in 2002, the fans of the show were devastated. But Joss told his actors that he wouldn’t give up and that he would find the show a new home.

Eventually, he found that place with Universal Studios in 2005, where they made a feature length movie called Serenity and resurrected the Firefly story.

Joss says about his movie making, “It’s not to make things people like. It’s never to make things people like. It’s only to make things that they love.”

Refusing to Let It Go

What I love about this story (in addition to loving the show unabashedly), is that Joss was so committed to vision and believed in it so much, that he refused to give up. And his fans and cast did too. Joss says about the experience, “[People] fell in love with it a little bit too much to let it go, too much to lay down arms when the battle looked pretty much lost. In Hollywood, people like that are called ‘unrealistic’ … ‘quixotic’ … ‘obsessive’.”

He seems to be totally okay with that. :)

When he presented the first footage of the movie at San Diego Comic Con, he said to the assembled masses of fans, “This movie should not exist. Failed TV shows don’t get made into major motion pictures unless the creator, the cast, and the fans believe beyond reason.”

Isn’t that the most beautiful turn of phrase?

What Do You Believe Beyond Reason?

What are you so ridiculously over the moon about that it makes you giddy just to think about?

The word passion has become so overused in our culture today, I’m not even sure we know what it means anymore.

To most of us it apparently means something like, “What do you think is a realistic way to make money that you would enjoy doing?”

And while that is a useful question when one is paying one’s bills, it is NOT really the same question as “What are you passionate about?”

Seems to me it’s time to change the question.

Let’s start asking, “What do you BELIEVE BEYOND REASON?”

“What do you believe in so deeply, so permanently, so passionately that you can hardly keep yourself in your skin because you are exploding with joy when you consider it?”

“What brings tears to your eyes when you allow yourself to even just consider the possibility that you might be lucky enough to do it for a single minute of your life?”

Do that. And do it as quick as you can.

Because really, why would we do anything else?

Time’s a wastin.’

Watch Joss’ Introduction Here

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.




Creative Visionary Survey Results

The results are in!

A few weeks ago I posted a survey about Visionaries and received wonderful feedback. There were 299 responses.

Here’s the note I sent out with the survey: “If you consider yourself a creative visionary, a leader, a world-transformer, or even someone with a passion for making the world a better place, I’d love to have your input.”

1. What type of visionary are you?
Over 60% of you see yourselves as “Creative Visionaries” followed closely by over 57% who see yourselves as “Spiritual Visionaries.” Since I sent my survey to my list of “highly sensitive souls,” I’m not entirely surprised by the spiritual focus.

Granted that I’ve been focusing on “creative visionaries,” I’m sure my results are skewed in that direction, but nonetheless, I’m interested in this response. :)

(Note: Click on the graphics for a larger view.)

2. Which of these characteristics best describe you?
Then, I asked you to respond with the characteristics you feel best describe you as a visionary, and heard that most of you think of yourselves as “Creative, Outside-The-Box Thinkers” (over 58%), followed closely by “Big Picture Thinkers” (54%), “Transformers of Old Outdated Systems & Paradigms / Challengers of the Status Quo” (52%), and “Thought-Leaders/Forward Thinkers” (51%).

Lots of thinking going on here, which is particularly interesting in the context of the next question.

3. Which of these challenges have you struggled with?
Clearly the biggest issue was “Struggling With My Own Inner Critic” — over 70% of you selected that choice.

Feeling Isolated and Alone” and “Not Having a Peer Group” were also top choices, as well as “Having Too Many Ideas and Not Knowing Where to Start” and “Not Having a Clear Vision But Knowing I’m Meant to Be Doing Something Big.”

My sense is that much of the struggle with the inner critic and the many ideas have to do with getting stuck in our own thinking, not keeping our energy moving, and not being disciplined about choosing ideas to bring to fruition.

Other comments on this question included

  • “Not having good energy boundaries”
  • “Fear of jealousy”
  • “Needing a kick in the butt”
  • “The idea that creative work, such as writing poetry, is selfish. Also, nobody likes a showoff.”
  • “Impatience and disbelief that others could not see what I could see”
  • “Not being taken seriously, ‘heard'”
  • “I find myself staying weighted down with ‘I don’t have the right to be heard and noticed'”
  • “Doing what I want vs should causes mental anguish”
  • “Organizing life to write and making it a priority”

Thank you very much for your participation.

Your comments are welcome — what intrigues YOU about this? What do YOU notice?

New Creative Visionaries Survey

I’d love to have your input on my new survey for creative visionaries. I’m striving to discover what helps creative visionary types succeed and stay on track with what they were put here to do. As part of that effort, I’m looking for information about what kinds of specific obstacles they face. If you’d be willing to share your input, I’d be eternally grateful.

You can find the survey here:

I’ll be sharing the results of the survey here on the blog. You’re also welcome to post comments, ideas, and suggestions.

Happy Holidays!

What Defines a Creative Visionary?

I’m adding more thoughts on how I’m defining “creative visionaries.”

Although there are many types of visionaries, it’s my supposition that ALL visionaries are “creative” thinkers. In other words, they are ahead of their time and thinking outside-the-box.

Creative visionaries are:

  • pioneers
  • people who aspire to greatness
  • people who change the course of history
  • change agents
  • radical visionaries
  • creative outside-the-box thinkers
  • muses
  • creative thought leaders
  • forward thinkers
  • magicians
  • transformation entrepreneurs
  • people who transform old outdated systems, paradigms, and radically challenge the status quo
  • prophets
  • innovators
  • “imagineers”
  • big picture thinkers
  • idea generators

Imagineers Don’t Shoot Down Their Dreams

One of my platinum coaches just forwarded me this article about “Imagineering” (R) by Ali Brown called, “Learn From Disney and Make Your Business Dreams Come to Life!”

Ali says, “…in Imagineering, it’s important to take things one step at a time. Otherwise, you might shoot down your dream before you have the chance to make it happen.”

This is such an important lesson that so many of us overlook.

We can’t possibly be in — let alone stay in — the creative resourceful space we need to inhabit to “dream big” and connect with our own inner vision and guidance.

Once we’ve given ourselves a chance to brainstorm and daydream, THEN we can do the “reality check” and find a way to make our visions real. But before then, all we’re doing is shooting down our nascent brilliance before we even give ourselves a chance to discover it.

Amazing, Innovative Art

Just saw this on Twitter via @Kaypearl from @bitrebels.

The detail is amazing, and I love all the “round pegs” and “rebel” references. Click the links below the image to see the full image and to click through to the artist’s gallery.



Steven Paul Jobs by ~dylanroscover on deviantART

What Inspires Me About Creative Visionaries

Part of what inspired me to explore this new project was this article about Brad Bird at Pixar. I loved the “lessons,” including:
(Note, these are renumbered from the original article because there were actually 10, not 9, as indicated in the text)

  1. Herd Your Black Sheep: “Give us the black sheep. I want artists who are frustrated. I want the ones who have another way of doing things that nobody’s listening to. Give us all the guys who are probably headed out the door.”
  2. Perfect is the Enemy of Innovation: “…there are some [scenes] that only need to be good enough to not break the spell.”
  3. Look for Intensity: “Involved people make for better innovation”
  4. Innovation Doesn’t happen in a Vacuum: “…if we can interconnect all our strengths, we are collectively the greatest animator on earth.”
  5. High Morale Makes Creativity Cheap: “…the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale.”
  6. Don’t Try To “Protect your success:” “The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved…”
  7. Steve Jobs Says ‘Interaction = Innovation:’ “People are allowed to create whatever front to their office they want…. if you have a loose, free kind of atmosphere, it helps creativity.”
  8. Encourage Inter-disciplinary Learning: “…encourages people to learn outside of their areas, which makes them more complete [and more creative].”
  9. Get Rid of Weak Links: “Passive-aggressive people—people who don’t show their colors in the group but then get behind the scenes and peck away—are poisonous.”
  10. Making $$ Can’t Be Your Focus: “Walt Disney’s mantra was, ‘I don’t make movies to make money—I make money to make movies.’”

What I love about these thoughts is the outside-the-box thinking that focuses on creativity, results, risk, and morale, simultaneously. As someone who is accustomed to coaching clients who “don’t fit in,” I love seeing such powerful results coming from NOT fitting in and not valuing fitting in. It’s so refreshing.

It’s my sense that we all have a lot to learn from these creative visionary types who see things differently, are willing to say so, and are willing to match their money and their efforts with their beliefs.

The Search Is On

I’m starting this new blog to get started on a new project to understand what inspires and supports creative visionaries to stay on track with what they were put here to do, in the face of what must often be incredible pressure to conform and let go of their radical ideas.

I’m defining creative visionaries (so far) as:

  • Creative geniuses
  • Imagination-based entrepreneurs
  • Thought-leaders
  • Cutting edge designers
  • Technological innovators

Here are the questions I’m asking so far:

  • What kind of legacy does a creative visionary long to leave?
  • What does a creative visionary do when they get off track or lose their way?What causes them to lose their way? How do they get back on track?
  • What is a creative visionary’s life purpose? Do they have a sense of it? How does it guide their actions?
  • What does a long dark night of the soul look like for an imagination entrepreneur and visionary?
  • What challenges does a creative visionary have and how do they overcome them?
  • What kinds of  non-supportive labels have creative visionaries struggled with over the course of their lives?
  • How do visionaries deal with the doubts and fears of the people around them about the visions they hold?
  • What kinds of obstacles have they faced and overcome to get to where they are now?

Here are a few of the creative visionaries I’ve thought of so far:

  • George Lucas
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Steve Jobs
  • John Lasseter
  • Peter Jackson
  • Carly Fiorina

I’d love to interview some of them — and other similar types — to begin to answer these questions to understand what enables their success.

I’d love to hear your suggestions and thoughts.