One of the most significant upside effects of the Obama fever that is sweeping the world, is the high-octane optimism that you can literally touch, smell and feel everywhere.
As I looked at America's first lady, Michelle Obama, glowing with pride, awe and humility as her husband took the inauguration oath, I wondered which cloud she was floating on; how high did she dare dream as a co-creator in this magical moment?
As we pinch ourselves, many are wishing they could stay in the 'yes we can' dream space which offers such comfort to our souls - three words which salve our wounded psyches while invigorating our spirit. Sadly, I've heard one too many question how they can sustain the optimism. Point is, once we've touched it, we probably could bottle the energy if we but allowed ourselves to reframe dream space from ethereal realms by shaping the Obama vitality into our everyday reality.
Creating the vision is the first and probably easiest step. What the self-help gurus often forget to tell us is how we hold the vision. A week will not cut it! Sometimes it takes years of fortitude and faith. There are clear lessons that can be gleaned from those who have changed the world through dreams.
Clear, unwavering picture
World leaders like Mandela and Gandhi both speak of how they focused on a clear, unwavering picture, painting, embroidery and broadening day by day to see their visions manifest.
It's also a question of orientation. Are you casting your vision from a ship navigating treacherous open seas or are you in a tranquil cove? Where your mind is at is a critical factor.
When we say the sky is the limit, what are we really saying? That the sky is boundless and so everything is possible or that it's impossible to touch the sky and so, in effect, any blue-sky goals are unlikely to be accomplished?
On scratching beneath the surface, we'll see that our mindset is influenced by the most unassuming and subtle things. Take the phrases and sayings that punctuate our language daily with little thought about how they impact our sense of boundaries and what is or may not be possible.
Sayings like 'Don't hang your hat higher than you can reach' and 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' made much sense in a time when it was important to consolidate and secure resources for sheer survival.
I imagine those who coined those phrases also battened down the hatches in the wake of the storm in an attempt to cover their heads and shelter. They called it common sense and no doubt there is merit in that thinking.
As we open 2009 soaring on Obama fever, we're being called to look the storm in the eye. It's not a question of reckless abandon, more an opportunity to run towards our fears and create deliberate, calculated visions based on principles of tenacity and faith rather than the illusion of 'knowing'.