Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Saw It On the Radio

My Tarheels beat Florida State last night, 80-77, on a running 3-pointer at the buzzer by guard Ty Lawson. I was on the road all day yesterday so I saw it on the radio while driving back.

Saw it on the radio?

At the end of every Sunday Morning on CBS, host Charles Osgood, says, "Until next week, I'll see you on the radio." Osgood is a long-time commentator on NPR.

One of the wonderful things older people talk about is listening to the radio and imagining the images that accompanied commentaries, news, radio dramas, and comedies. They often say that when they eventually saw the people who were the voices of the shows they were disappointed. Their mental images were more vivid and flattering than the reality.

Being able to imagine a better day, a better future, is one of the few things that separates humans from animals. Fluffy can't imagine a bigger bowl of dog food. Can you imagine a better workday? A better tomorrow? If you can, you can achieve it. Napoleon Hill, often considered the father of the positive thinking movement, said, "What the mind of man can conceive he can achieve."

But, here's the rub: If you can imagine a better future, you have to start making choices. Do you take the steps to get there, or stay where it might be comfortable? Do you have the difficult discussions that might be necessary to reach what you imagine to be a better future, or not?

The French philosopher Voltaire said, "The good is the enemy of the great." If you can imagine the great, why not go for it? Maybe good, at least in some areas of life, is good enough. Maybe it comes down to whether or not you have the courage to try, or not.

Going for great is change and change is always risky. But, you have to be able to imagine the great before you even get to make the choice.

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