In the movie Only the Brave, the superintendent Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin) takes a group of rookie wildfire firefighters on a training hike up the mountainside. “I want you all to breathe in this beautiful vista,” Marsh tells his men as they come upon an expansive view overlooking acres of forests. “Once you’ve been baptized, you’ll never be able to see it that way again…there’s only one thing you’ll be able to see — that’s fuel.”
I’m certainly not a firefighter and am far away from wildfire territory, but Marsh’s line has stuck with me. He was describing a lens with which to view the world; people wearing an invisible set of glasses that filter everything they see.
I wear those glasses every day, seeing dot topics instead of fuel. I take pictures in stores and on walks; I make notes during movies and while listening to the radio; I read the paper or magazines with leadership dots in mind. For the Granite Mountain Hotshots, trees equal fuel. For me, ideas equal dots.
I believe everyone is wearing some type of glasses with which they filter their life’s experiences. You may see incidents of injustice or be keenly aware of environmental waste. Perhaps your glasses help you see opportunities for entrepreneurship or zero in on unhealthy salts in foods. Maybe you view everything based on what it will cost or how much time it will require from you.
I think the trick is to have multiple sets of glasses and even to borrow others’ lenses for a new perspective sometimes. Don’t miss out on that beautiful vista and only see fuel.