You Can’t See Apple, in Cupertino, Through the Window of a Gap Store: When Reality is the Barrier

I don’t think he quite knew what he was going to do with his life. He just knew he couldn’t do it here. He had to move. There was no way his level of passion and drive could be contained in rural America. He was headed somewhere. Somewhere that could handle it.

He took a regular job at a Gap Store in a larger city. No one thought much of it, and one day we got a call saying he got the district manager position. Cool! No big surprise. That won’t be enough for him so we waited for the next phone call.

The call came. Apple was opening a store nearby and he was chosen as the store manager. Things were starting to get interesting. Apple. Really. This took him off on an adventure that we never expected, though I bet he did.

He later moved to California and worked at Apple. My younger brother with only a high school education, but with enough drive and passion to make up for any degree he lacked. We were never completely surprised. It seemed a normal progression for him, but you see he never could have seen Apple in Cupertino, looking through the window of the Gap store. It just wasn’t in view.

Sure he knew hew was made for more. He knew what he could do, and that once he was given the opportunity he would soar, but he couldn’t see it. It wasn’t in his view yet, and it might not be in ours.

Reality is the Barrier

I can’t become what I can’t see. Reality gives me a limited view. Here is what is available, here is what everyone else is doing, and here are your opportunities. It’s all defined based off what we or others see.

I can’t become what I can’t see so then I need to expand my view. How?

1. Read. Really. Read and study. Read what others did in the past, and what others are doing now. Reading sticks in our soul. Read and then let it seap into you and mold you.
2. Travel. I recently traveled three hours away and stayed for two nights. We simply went to a small town art fair, a Christmas musical in a mid-size city and enjoyed window shopping. Even a small trip like this can refresh us and expand our view.
3. New connections. There are wonderful people that I love and admire who have no desire to do anything new, or adventurous. Their career advice to me is “just get a job”. While they mean well they have no idea of how much they limit my view of the world. I can’t see past them. I need new people to connect with. These people can be online, at a class we take, or in a nearby city. Just find them.
4. Try doing some things this year that you don’t like doing. Those things that you say you don’t like but have never tried. You never know when you will try something, and then love it, or it will inspire you. Your view will expand when you try new things.
5. Observe. Spend some serious time observing your life. You will learn so much about the people you let influence you, your fears, and your barriers. We let so much of life go by without spending anytime thinking about why we do what we do. Let’s think about it. Perhaps our observations will help us discover what we have been looking for. Perhaps it’s already there.

I don’t know who you are, but I know there are ways for you to expand your view of life. I know that however you accomplish it it’s going to require expanding your view beyond your current reality.

My younger brother couldn’t see Apple in Cupertino, through the window of the Gap store the day he showed up for work, but I bet he found ways to expand his view beyond his current reality. When he did he opened up a new world of opportunity, and could then see what he could become.

Marcy Pedersen

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