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Vail: Make the most of your imagination

Let’s start with something a little different today, Vail Valley readers:

It Wasn’t Addressed to Me Anyway

A morning walk, along the beach taking life in stride

I came across an old clear bottle with a message still inside

Just about to pop the cork, I paused for one brief minute

For maybe I’d be disappointed to discover what was in it

It may be more exciting to imagine from where it came

Like a deserted island cast-away just telling us his name

It may be from a prisoner aboard a pirate ship

Or maybe someone sailing around the world updating us on her trip

Could be the last will and testament of a poor soul drifting in the sea

To whoever finds this bottle becomes the heir to his property

Maybe it is a romantic letter, written from a woman’s heart

Hoping to reach the man from whom the oceans have kept apart

Then I grabbed the bottle by the neck and threw it back into the tide

For someone else to find one day, and imagine what’s inside

Would you have opened the bottle and read the message?

Basic human nature is curiosity, so of course we would have opened it. But now, after reading this poem, would you still have opened it? Typically when I ask that question in that context I get about 80 percent of people saying they would still open the bottle.

But the reason I love this poem is because, to me, it is about imagination and creativity. We still have four or five weeks of skiing left and I am going to get as many days on the hill as possible, but I am starting to think about the shoulder seasons, palm trees and tropical sunsets.

And although vacations may be the farthest thing from your mind, we can use our imaginations to do some vision casting about our lives right here in the Vail Valley. When you watch a movie, read a book, or listen to a song do you ever find yourself getting lost in your imagination and taking on the role of one of the character?

Our lives are our own stories and songs. And our life stories are usually filled with drama, adventure, comedy, romance, and disaster. As you use your imagination, think about what life looks like beyond ski season, beyond 2009, and maybe even beyond 2010. Is it what you want it to be? If not, use your imagination, be creative, make plans and set goals to set yourself on the road to success you are dreaming about.

We use our imaginations to form ideas about businesses, to set goals and have the best dreams about where we want to go or be in life. We daydream and imagine ourselves in a different place or job, starting a new business, reapplying our passion to our existing endeavors, finding the right person or falling in love.

There are significant realities happening right now that we all must deal with. There are real-world road blocks to achieving our goals and realizing our dreams and too often we hinder our chances of realizing our dreams through manufactured or self-imposed walls. But with determination, passion, and a healthy imagination we can get past both the limiting real world roadblocks and those nasty self-imposed or perceived barriers.

Something amazing happens when we use our creativity. It stimulates our minds and our hearts. And when we harness the power of our imagination to really drive that creativity we can do incredible things in all areas.

Everyone reading this article has a gift, and when you couple that God-given talent with your ability to dream big, imagine without boundaries, and bridge the gap between your heart and head, you will experience levels of success you never thought possible. You have the skill, you have the goals and dreams, now apply the will. When skill and will collide, in that moment you will have unleashed the true champion inside of yourself.

So, if you came across a message in a bottle would you open it, or would you imagine what was inside? Let me know.

And share with me what you are imagining and dreaming about for yourself, for the Vail Valley, or for your business. The e-mails have been awesome so please keep them coming at msnorton@comcast.net and make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, and motivational speaker and is once again serving as the Interim President of the Zig Ziglar Organization. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.


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