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Execute Your Vision

The other night, I read stories about two of my heroes from opposite ends of the human spectrum, both of whom did something fascinating on Tuesday. On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but the thematic thread connecting their actions is a lesson for us all.

If these blogs haven’t provided enough reasons why nobody should ever be friends with me, here’s another one. I’m incapable of enjoying anything without meticulously researching it after the fact, and spouting off trivia about it to everyone else. Such was the case on Tuesday night, when I attended a fantastic Bob Weir concert in Detroit. The Grateful Dead guitarist performed stripped-down, jazzy versions of his classic songs in a new trio called The Wolf Bros, and I was enthralled. After the show, I immediately had to Google this new band and read everything written about them.

What I learned was that one night last year, Bob Weir had an incredibly clear dream. He was asleep, when suddenly he saw himself playing guitar and singing while Don Was played bass and Jay Lane played drums, and their band was named The Wolf Bros. The next day, he called the two musicians with the idea, and six months later they were on tour.

The other interesting moment on Tuesday came when I read Michael Bloomberg’s essay announcing that he would not run for president, as it would distract him from his charity work. I’ll never reveal my political views on here, but as someone who writes scripts about politics, I’m always interested in candidates’ thought processes as they make these decisions. He spoke about how he’s spent the last few years spending his large fortune on initiatives that are important to him, particularly those that protect the environment. Many of his projects have been incredibly effective, and he thinks focusing on them is a better use of his time than running for president. One passage in particular struck me:

“Should I devote the next two years to talking about my ideas and record…or should I spend the next two years doubling down on the work that I am already leading and funding, and that I know can produce real and beneficial results for the country, right now?”

I never go to bed thinking I’ll wake up and draw parallels between Bob Weir and Michael Bloomberg, but here we are. These two men both had incredibly clear visions (Weir for his new band, and Bloomberg for his environmental initiatives), and they simply willed their plans into existence. It’s easy to get distracted with the grind of everyday life, but the highest achievers in the world are the ones who simply create the things that they wish existed. It would have been easy for Bob Weir to just keep doing what he was doing, or for Bloomberg to wait until he held a higher political office to start pursuing his goals. But they both simply created their visions, without asking for anyone’s permission, and the results have been spectacular.

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Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
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