Too often, we let holidays come and go without really commemorating anything, and MLK Day is no exception. Many of us see this Monday off simply as a break for the kids or an opportunity for a quick ski trip.
But Martin Luther King Jr. was a great leader, and one well worth remembering.
So what made him so exceptional? And what can we learn from him? Well, the list is long:
- Spiritual faith
- Speaking power
- Selfless devotion
- Service to others
I could go on.
But instead, I’m going to focus on one monstrously powerful force that Dr. King exemplified: vision.
He Had a Dream
Martin Luther King had a dream. And this dream pervaded every fiber of his being. That passion alone had immeasurable power.
At the same time, he was intimately familiar with his vision, and he articulated the picture so forcefully that others could feel it, taste it, imagine its fulfillment, take it as their own.
This vision was not a plan, strategy, budget, or action list. Those details came later. Because spreadsheets, do lists, and budgets don’t capture people’s hearts and spur them to action.
What Drove His Vision?
What do you think drove Martin Luther King’s dream? Do you think he sat down and decided what vision would be achievable, realistic, affordable, and technically plausible?
No. He dreamed of the end game, the final picture. He saw how things should and could be. And he made that his vision.
Then, he stepped out. He went forth. With faith and commitment, he launched.
What’s Your Dream?
As you think about Martin Luther King’s vision of the future, consider where you stand with your own dreams.
Okay, so maybe you’re not a famous leader who’s known to millions and changing the very fabric of an entire country. But Martin Luther King didn’t start out with that bio, either.
What he did start with was the dream. And you can, too.
To start getting a feel for this visioning process, you might begin with a slightly smaller goal than changing the world. Practice with some little things, like projects around the house, presentations, or your efforts to help a friend. What’s the end game? What’s your dream outcome?
That’s a vision.
As you start asking yourself to envision this ideal picture, you’ll notice some changes:
- Increased meaning to what you do
- More clarity
- Tighter focus
- A greater sense of purpose
It’s actually kind of addictive.
And each year at this time, you can use our country’s celebration of Martin Luther King as a reminder of your vision’s power, and of how far you’ve come since starting small.