My favorite part of Redmond’s Lake Powell leadership retreat—better than the beautiful scenery, great food, fun activities, and wonderful people—is the opportunity to participate in the video and book review discussions. One of my favorite videos is from National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones, who uses examples from his career to illustrate the importance of celebrating what’s right with our world.
Through photography, Dewitt came to understand that ”I won’t see it until I believe it” matters more than ”I won’t believe it until I see it.” He believed he would find beautiful landscapes and wonderful people, and they would appear. Two people working side by side may be looking at the same world, but seeing different things. Our vision controls our perception, and our perception becomes reality.
When we celebrate what‘s right with the world, our minds stay open to possibilities, and that gives us energy to fix the things that aren’t going well. We are open to change, and every change offers the potential for greater opportunity.
Celebrating what’s right in the world means celebrating the best in people. Through his camera lens, Dewitt discovered the best light comes from within ourselves and the people around us. It takes courage to let that light shine through, and openness to see it in others. When we’re with the people we live and work with, do we focus on the negative, or do we see their best? Do we have the vision to see the best in ourselves, and trust that others will see it as well?
One of the hardest things is being willing to put ourselves out there, to publish our best, without worrying about how it will be received. ”I realized,” Dewitt says, ”that if I was going to take it higher in my own life, I had to spend time not just with what I do, but who I am. That’s a lot harder— at least it was for me—discovering who I was and being comfortable with it.”