How Lessons Learned From Old Technologies Can Be Applied To Our Personal Development
This series of articles aims to raise our awareness of how mastering certain skills of personal development could have as important an impact on our lives as the technologies we daily take for granted. It will also show that not mastering these skills is like living in the darkness that preceded the advent of these technologies.
ARTICLE #5 – THE LIGHT BULB
In this fifth article, I will show you a leadership skill that can have the same impact in your life as the introduction of the light bulb in 19th century society.
One of the biggest problems in today’s world is that people don’t know where they are going because they don’t have a vision. Having one will make a big difference in your life.
After reading this article, you will conclude that living without having a vision for your future is like living in the darkness that prevailed before the invention of the light bulb.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
The electric lamp gave people complete control over lighting inside their homes and work places at the flick of a switch. The consequence was to interrupt the normal, biological rhythms of life and to alter our schedules for work and leisure. Industrial plants could operate in shifts around the clock and the concept of “the city that never sleeps” became a reality.
Thomas Edison invented the first effective light bulb in 1879.
The societal impact of the light bulb is multi-tiered, but it can most succinctly be expressed in terms of work, leisure, and safety. Working hours, workplace safety, home safety, leisure hours, and leisure activities all increased.
Before the light bulb, there just was not a whole lot to do once the sun went down. Businesses had to close at dusk. There was little to do on weekends and evenings but engage in social and artistic activity.
Profits generated by the electric lamp paid for a network of generators and wires. This infrastructure then became available for a whole new class of inventions: appliances and equipment that by the 1930s had transformed the home and the workplace.
Most of the major advances in technology came after the light bulb, as a person’s day could be extended as long as they could stay awake.
WHAT IS THE LINK WITH YOUR OWN EVOLUTION?
I propose that this leadership skill could have a similar impact as the light bulb had over society, and that the light bulb can teach three lessons that will help you improve.
WHAT IS VISION?
“Vision is the ability to look ahead and see possibility. Vision involves looking at the world around you and asking, ‘What am I going to do about it? How am I going to use the precious gift of my own life?’”
— Maria Bartiromo, The 10 Laws of Enduring Success
Your personal vision becomes the main driver of your life.
Here are a few things it will do for you:
- It will provide guidance and direction to all your major life decisions.
- It gives you clarity, confidence, and calmness
- It will provide direction for the use of your personal resources.
- It becomes the energy behind every effort and the force that pushes through all your problems.
One important thing to understand is that a dream is not a vision. A dream or a goal without a strategy is only a fantasy.
3 WAYS TO USE THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE LIGHT BULB
The light bulb enabled people to see in places where it was very hard to see before. VISION does the same: it enables you to see more clearly in many situations that were formerly very foggy. It lets you see where you could barely see before.
As the light bulb impacted work, leisure, and safety, having a vision will do the same. It will improve your happiness at work because you will make sure to work in a field that is aligned with your future plans. And since your work will be fulfilling, it will become like leisure. It will also improve your safety in the sense that when you have the big picture, it helps you conquer your fears and to stop worrying about little things. Therefore your safety will come from within instead of being generated by external factors and events.
I strongly believe that most of the major advances in the life of a human being can come after they find their vision (that is, after their light bulb is switched on). This phenomenon happened to humanity through technology and I believe the same could happen to individuals. Finding you vision will enable you to see the world in a new way. It enables you to realize that you have much more time available to dedicate to your progress.
The leadership skill of VISION ACTS like THE LIGHT BULB – it gives you a new perspective on your existence and it enables you to choose what your life can be.
As we have seen, you can use the lessons learned from the light bulb to develop your vision. This will bring you clarity, guidance, energy, and direction. I encourage you to apply these lessons and you will see a major improvement.
Now that you know that this leadership skill can have the same impact as the light bulb had on society, would you choose to live without it?
Be there for the next article of this series wherein I will talk about the impact of the telephone in society, and how we can use the lessons learned from this technology in our own personal development.
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To read the first four installments of this series: