Foggy Vision

Dr. Dan Miller talks about moving forward and knowing wear your going even when your vision is just a bit foggy.

The two leaders I mentioned in the video are Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. They led a small group of adult men, one teenage woman, and a baby on an expedition through the Upper Plains and Northwest from 1803 to 1807. President Thomas Jefferson tasked them with mapping the region, establishing cordial relations with Indian tribes, and discovering what no American yet knew—the reality of of the west between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Coast.

So how did Lewis and Clark find their way on this incredible mission? How did they deal with the things that clouded their vision ahead?

Just like the figure in the photo on my website, they used what was at hand.

First, they had prepared thoroughly for the trip. Lewis, for example, had months of tutoring, mentoring, and self-study on everything from astronomy to zoology. He poured over the latest books and examined the findings of relevent expeditions.

Second, they picked team members who knew what they were doing. Only the hardiest and most proven of pioneers, hunters, and trappers from the Ohio River Valley were chosen for the journey.

Third and perhaps most intriguingly, they used diversity in a very specific way. Lewis and Clark reached out to a variety of French trappers who had ventured north up the Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys. They listened to a teenage Indian girl—Sacagawea—who knew much about the languages, customs, and landmarks of native peoples living in the west. They recognized the emerging skill and talent of an imposing African-American slave, York. And they were ready to reach out to countless local natives along the way for trade, directions, and advice on surviving in an unfamiliar wilderness.

While none of these things formally count as vision as we normally think of it, the key point for you is that Lewis and Clark compensated for a lack of clarity by using other resources near at hand. They were flexible and adaptable in their leadership to enable them to find advantages where other people might have ignored them. They sharpened their vision into the future by drawing on elements around them.

Not all sight is vision and not all vision comes from one’s ability to see the horizon.