“No, he’s changing mine.”
from a scene in the film, “THE BLIND SIDE”
I recently watched the movie again (and again), and was once again entranced not only by the transformational journey of football great Michael Oher, but equally by the how helping him also changed the lives of his adoptive family, Sean and Leanne Tuohy and their two kids. And, while the film focused primarily on Michael’s story and Leanne’s crusade to give him a leg up on life, on closer examination much of the real-life story began with Sean Tuohy’s personal vision to help poor Memphis kids when they needed it. And, although they went the whole ten yards with Michael Oher, he was not the first, nor the last who received an outstretched hand from Sean Tuohy.
It got me thinking once again about how having a clear vision brings so much more meaning to our careers, and lives for that matter. What do I mean by “Blind Side” vision? Simply put, it is a vision where your central focus is making an impact or a difference on others or society. Or to put in the movie’s terms, you have their back. And, then the reciprocal benefit is the in-kind impact felt in your own life. Unselfishly helping others helps you, enriching your life beyond measure.
The objective for creating a vision that will sustain you and effect literally every area of your life is to let go of the “how.” But, rather to focus on the “what,” the “who,” and the “why.” Sean Tuohy could not possibly have known years earlier, when he adopted the mindset of his vision to help the underserved, how he would have an impact or that Michael Oher would show up in his family’s path.
So, how do you get a “Blind Side” Vision for yourself? This is one of my favorite subjects; I write and talk about it in different forms and often, but it’s important to continue the conversation.
- What – what kind of impact do you want to make? It doesn’t have to be some big vision with a global scope. Look at the difference you make to your company now, or the impact you currently have on people in your life, directly and indirectly. Don’t belittle the significance you have in your world already. Now look at the talents behind the impact you’re making, the skills that you bring to the table.
For Sean Tuohy, he came from a background where, according to Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side, “he had the experience of being the poor kid in the rich school when he was growing up.” So he kept tabs on those kids at his children’s school; he offered meals and help for any needs they had. He wanted to make an impact to the betterment of their lives.
- Who – on whom do you want to make an impact? Get clear on the segment of society you want to help, or the type of people you want to impact. Are they seekers of knowledge or education, or underprivileged/underserved, or those effected by a cause or condition that you’re personally connected to, or are they people who look to be inspired?
- Why – why and how will lives or companies or society change because of your vision? Think specifically about the result of your vision becoming a reality for those it helps.
For Sean Tuohy, those he impacts go on to live more productive and successful lives, but most importantly they realize possibility and that it’s there for them when in many cases the notion of possibility is seemingly an impossibility.
I believe we’re all here for a greater good. Why not incorporate that into your career and life vision? Why not make it part of what you do every day?
Can you imagine how quickly the collective consciousness of the world would rise to a higher, nobler level with this kind of thinking, followed by action?