A Critical Doer’s Lesson From “Unbroken”

How Far Can You See? 

After waking up from a Christmas turkey coma, our family decided to take in a movie last night.  We’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of Unbroken, based upon Laura Hillenbrand’s epic book about the life and times of Louis Zamperini.

For those of you that read the book, you’ll notice some obvious differences in flow but for the most part the movie captures the major events from the book.  As I watched the movie, I saw a connection to a couple of points I’ve written about.  The first is a critical doer trait of understanding both the short and long view of time, and the second is the visionary question of “how far can you see?”

(Warning:  if you haven’t read the book, this paragraph could be a mild spoiler)  Early in the movie we saw Louis’ brother Pete trying to encourage him to channel his energy into something positive like running rather than the activities that had given him a poor reputation in his hometown.  In a poignant scene, Pete told Louis he believed in him even though Louis said he didn’t believe in himself…Pete could see further than Louis and he took action to help Louis extend his vision far enough to become the fastest high school runner in the country.  Learning this lesson served him well in surviving the crash of his plane in the Pacific, surviving at sea, and surviving harsh treatment as a prisoner of war.

There are many lessons we can learn from a true American hero like Louis Zamperini.  Heroes like Louis endear themselves to us as they show the best of everything we believe to be true about our own humanity…things that we hope are true and will be revealed about us if we were in the same circumstances.

I do believe the same qualities we admire and love about the great Louis Zamperini are in each of us.  Louis needed someone to help him see farther to realize he had those qualities.  So the question is “how far can you see?”

If there is a goal you have but are reluctant to get out of the starting gate, it could be that your vision doesn’t extend far enough to see what you want to accomplish so that it’s real enough to cause action.  How far you can see is exactly how far you’re going…no more, no less.  I hope the answer to “how far can you see” is “far enough to believe in myself.”

It’s what a critical doer would…do!


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Updated: December 26, 2014 — 4:04 pm