Mitch Schneider
August 14, 2020

Remember when you were a kid sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by a sprawl of Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, or Legos—whichever is generationally appropriate.

Remember the shoeboxes that were transformed into car washes? The blankets that became tents or better yet, an endless network of caves? Or, the Barbie’s and Ken’s living in a world of suburban bliss.

What about the bottomless barrel of GI Joe figures? Or, Boba Fett, Darth Mahl, Yoda, Han Solo, the Millennium Falcon, and Chewbacca?

Can you recall the wonder of infinite possibility? The books you read. The worlds you created. The adventures pursued.

I can.

The only thing that might be more magical is watching your kids or grandkids following the same path of wondrous imagination. The only question: Where did that world of wonder and imagination go? When did it disappear?

I don’t have the answer. I’m not sure anyone does. You included.

But I do have another question. Perhaps, one that is timelier and more appropriate for this particular moment in time, and that is: If you could build anything your imagination could conceive, what would it be? What would you build now?

What kind of an unimaginable future would you imagine and who would you choose to be in that world?

If you could be anyone or anything in that world, who would that person be and what would they look like? What would they do? How would they operate in that new and unfamiliar universe? In an unknown and unknowable future?

A Blank Page…

If you had a clean slate—a blank page—how would you fill it? Would you make the same choices? Plan the same future? Follow the same path? Perhaps, more importantly, do you see the endless stream of choices that are present before you? Just waiting for your consideration.

Most of us don’t. Especially, in times like these. Times when it would appear our choices have been stolen from us. Removed.

It would be hard to ignore the impact COVID-19 has had. The devastation that has been wreaked on our customers and clients. The impact it’s had on each of us and our respective businesses.

The toll three months of inactivity and the lock-down has taken is unmistakable. Irrefutable. The debris stream significant. But if all we see is the damage—the pain and suffering—we may be missing an incredible opportunity.

The world we knew has been shaken to its very core. It may l never return to what it once was. What we once knew. However, we have a choice. We can wallow in despair or we can question the future in ways we could not have imagined possible just a few short months ago.

Questions like, was the world we knew the best of all possible worlds? The best reality for us? For our families? For our team members, vendors, and clients? Is it a world we would choose if we had a choice and the choice was real? Or, can you imagine a new and different future? One that is not tethered to the past, but deeply rooted in the future that only can create.

Who Would You Be?

Who would you be if you could be anyone you could? How would you define success? What would you do if you could do anything you ever imagined yourself doing? And, what would you build if you weren’t standing in your own way? No longer the most formidable obstacle in your path to a better future?

If you could take a deep breath, close your eyes, and see yourself in a universe of infinite possibilities, what would you see? Perhaps, more to the point, what do you see?

Would you go there if you could? Does it make you smile?

Within the heart of every crisis there lies the infinite possibility of opportunity. The opportunity to pivot. The option of imagination. A chance for reinvention.

I just stopped and closed my eyes and when I opened them, I found myself staring at one of the books on the shelf just above my desk. Its title was strangely appropriate. I Could be Anything: If Only I Knew What it Was (Barbara Sher). I’m not sure you have to read it to understand its message. Nor, do you have to experience a pandemic or economic chaos to recognize the opportunities you have. Opportunities that are there if you have the foresight to see them and the courage to act upon what you see.

Well, you no longer have to search for that truth. It has been revealed.

You are no longer compelled to be who you were. You are no longer obligated to do what you did. What you’ve always done.

Author and Artist…

You are the author and the artist.

What would you like this industry to look like in your ideal future? What would you change?

Look at where you are and what you are doing here and now. Is it working? Is it everything you ever hoped it would be? Everything it could be?

My guess is it isn’t. I know it didn’t always work for me. Now, think about everything that has changed—and, continues to change—around you all the time.

Think about what you could do. Who you could be? And, then, ask yourself why you’re still here—being who you’ve always been—doing what you’ve always done. Especially, if the result is no longer justified by the energy and effort.

This is the perfect time to pivot. The perfect time to reimagine and reinvent. The perfect time to do what you were meant to do. To be who you were meant to be. To create the reality you deserve and an industry you would be proud to serve.


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