“I take up my old pen again – the pen of all my old unforgettable efforts and sacred struggles. To myself – today – I need say no more. Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life.”
Henry James, in his early 50s, wrote in his Notebook:
“Throughout history, people with new ideas — who think differently and try to change things — have always been called troublemakers.”
I was a West Wing fan and I always remember Sam Seaborne say “if I am gonna lose let me lose doing something.”
That’s an attitude. It is an attitude where you kind of look around at all the bullshit & all the corporate politics & all the company manual rules and say … “well, a lot of this shit is going to make me lose more often than I win, and worse, make me do some things I may not be proud of.” So you set out to do good things, the right way, and play your best game and figure if you lose , well, you plated your best game.
Some people call us troublemakers.
Some troublemakers make themselves out to be “disrupters.”
Here is the truth. There is no label for these types of people.
They aren’t out to make trouble nor are they purposefully being contrarians, they simply think a different way and see different things. It is quite possible they simply see a dimension the rest of us just cannot see. In other words, they see invisible shit.
Therefore, the most successful of these people actually make the invisible visible.
“… marveled at the way in which three clear liquids … nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and water … when combined produce color … and not just any color … but the color of a flaming sunset.”
Let me say, first, seeing things no one else can see makes a shitload of people uncomfortable. So if you are one of those people you learn really quickly your success resides not only in making some invisible things visible but making them the color of a flaming sunset when you do (or … a delightful colorful way)
To be clear. There are not a lot of people able to take the invisible things and put them together in ways that make them visible.
Let’s say these are the people who take things most of us just cannot, or do not, see … and make them visible in a meaningful way that is relevant and recognized. Anyway … the mixture I described above is sometimes called Aqua regia (Latin and Ancient Italian, lit. “royal water”) or aqua regis (Latin, lit. “king’s water”).
Having the ability to combine invisible factors and creating something wonderful and visible … is a skill.
And kind of a complex skill. Not just ability to see things unseen but also to see the bigger vision. But my larger concern is it is quite possible we are forgetting HOW to do it.
In today’s business world if we don’t believe something exists … well … then it doesn’t. That means what is invisible cannot become visible because, well, if it’s not visible it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, the truth is that if we don’t know that something exists, it really doesn’t mean that it doesn’t. It only means we don’t know one way or the other or maybe we just haven’t been made aware of it yet. Someone wrote that evidence is not about proof or certainty or necessity but rather it is simply something that can contribute to belief. This means we can have evidence but it is in no way conclusive.
This is the fundamental mistake when discussing evidence. The mistake is the belief or assumption that there can only be evidence for claims that are true but, in fact, there is a vast amount of evidence for claims that are in fact false.
I say all this to point out why people who can see the invisible are called troublemakers (and want to call themselves disruptors>.
For when people dismiss ‘possibility’ simply because they weren’t aware of it, or haven’t made the attempt to explore it, or haven’t looked beyond their own personal usage/viewpoint — then they are all too frequently jumping to conclusions based on … well … lack of information rather than the presence of it.
The people who do not fall into this trap? The ones who can see the invisible things. The ones who can actually take clear components and put them together and create something tangible and colorful.
And that makes people feel uncomfortable.
I am not sure they are trainable … I could be wrong … but I tend to believe they are more a knack, an innate ability, more than one that can be taught.
And it is quite possible it is because of that <there is no training that the skill is simply inherent> which makes them look like troublemakers to the rest of the world.
It is troubling to not have some “go to book” or manual to explain things and it is troubling when someone can see something you cannot see <even if you squint>. .
Think of it this way.
If you know someone at your company or in business who makes you ‘marvel at the way in which they are able to take three clear liquids and combine them to produce color … and not just any color … but the color of a flaming sunset’ you should pay them gobs of money or just make sure that you pay attention to them.
Because invisible is … well … invisible to pretty much everyone.
And anyone who can see the invisible is worth every penny you can pay them. Because the most colorful beautiful visible in business … is inevitably created from some random combination of ‘less than visible’ aspects. They make visible a new road. You may not want to walk it but you should appreciate a road builder regardless.
“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”