“Worry is the misuse of imagination.”
I was in Seattle recently with my Leadership Studies students. While exploring the city in our rented mini-vans, we had the radio tuned to a channel playing music with commentary by a familiar voice. It was the Delilah Radio Show.
One of the guys in the mini-van asked if that was the same Delilah as in Abilene. All of us who had heard the Delilah Radio Show on our local radio station immediately knew that it was–it is a syndicated program that airs across the country. Our curious passenger thought that Delilah was in Abilene and that the show was unique to Abilene. Umm, no.
I remember one time last year while driving home in the dark during the Christmas season, the Delilah show was on the radio in my truck. Delilah normally offers a lot of relationship advice to her viewers–and it oftentimes gets awkward and sometimes pretty sappy. On this particular night, however, she offered up wisdom that was not tied to relationships. It was something that really caught my attention.
She said that the human brain has wonderful capabilities for creative thought. As humans, we can use those creative powers to imagine all types of new, wonderful, and awesome possibilities. That creative power is what leads people to explore, invent, create, make discoveries, and find new and wonderful ways of living and interacting with each other and the environment. A big part of being human is tapping into that creative imagination and to change how we see and interact with world.
Delilah went on to warn us that, unfortunately, we often use those same forces of creativity and imagination to imagine horrible, frightening, and terrible outcomes. Our imaginations, when focused on reasons and excuses why we should not undertake new ventures, can run wild with scenarios of failure and problems. Delilah cautioned us that the same processes of imagination that lead us to desire new and incredible places are the same processes that paralyze us from venturing into the unknown and trying new things. Too often, she asserted, people fail to follow their imaginations to wonderful places because of the fear that comes from imagining terrifying places.
The bike ride projects still give me a sense of anxiety and trepidation. Most of the anxiety is not focused on what might happen to me, but rather on what might happen to the people with me. We continually talk about safety and have developed systems that are designed to keep us safe, however…
What keeps us on the road and rolling to new destinations is the overwhelming sense of achievement, adventure, exploration, and the bonds that develop among teammates and those we meet along the route. The incredible and indescribable intrinsic outcomes that result from performing these rides is what keeps us coming back for more. The thrill of the journey is what drives us.
As mentioned in another post, the music that we use for our recap videos is extremely important and meaningful in describing and remembering our rides and all of the adventures that came with them. Here is the music video from our first ride to Canada. This one of the biggest, boldest, and creative projects that I’ve ever been involved with–it involved overcoming fears and anxieties to do something wonderful and beyond description.