In November 2019 I had my second cataract surgery and for the first time in a very long time, I was seeing with 20/20 vision. I thought that was pretty cool to be heading into the new decade and the year 2020.  The idea of seeing 20/20 excited me from both the perspective of my photography and setting goals for the next chapter of my life. 

After all 20/20 vision is about seeing clearly with clarity, focus, and dare I add increased ability to see the fine print. Suffice it to say “2020” has been an awful lot like 20/20 for myself and some of my friends and clients. The chaos of the last 10 months has either invited us or forced us to seek clarity and focus in our professional and personal lives. And interpreting where we go from here has involved and will continue to involve peeling back many layers and looking at the fine print in all of our lives.

In my quest for clarity, I have adopted the mindset of a designer, and have been asking clarifying questions to chart the way forward.  

  • “Why do I?“  and  
  • “What if I?” 

I have found both to be empowering questions as they have helped me to clarify who I am, what is important to me, and opened me up to new ideas to prototype. 

Prototyping

Prototyping is the practice of rapidly testing ideas to see what works and then modify the approach going forward. The objective of prototyping is in part to spend less time thinking and more time doing and exploring your ideas in action. Try new ideas, make some tweaks in your approach and try again. Then examine the results of your actions and implement any changes to your new activities or habits you are seeking to create.

This blog is a prototyping activity for me. Some weeks I receive a great deal of feedback and clicks and others not so much, but it has been a learning experience. As I have also worked to improve my photography skills during the pandemic.  I have started to learn bird photography. It is challenging, but I like it and will stick with it. I have also looked at what I want to do from a career perspective, the thinking there is evolving, and after some delays, I am excited about what will come next.

I bring up the “Why do I?”  and “What if I?” questions because they can be very helpful as we look for some context and think about what happens next at a personal level and a broader level. ”I” can be changed to “We”, and together we can have a discussion about the bigger questions. 

My goal here is not to lecture or offer any solutions beyond the need for open discussion. We are dealing with complex opportunities for improvement. Before we make any decisions about the changes on the horizon we need to think about “Why” we are where we are and ask a broader set of  “What if” questions to determine where we go next. What can we do differently and how do we prototype new ideas that will lead to better outcomes.

The key to solving any problem is to see it clearly with 20/20 vision. To do this we need to clarify the underlying issues and opportunities before we rush to action to cure the visible symptoms of a deep and complex problem. We all have opinions, it is healthy to share those opinions in the context of “Why” and “What If”, to drive a better outcome. 

When we ask ourselves challenging questions we open the door to a wider array of options to prototype, and we can create a 2021 vision with clarity and focus.

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