On Visionaries

March 10, 2019

A visionary is someone capable of imagining the future while planning for it accordingly, someone who has a vision. It’s interesting to note that prophets and visionaries have been revered throughout history as carriers of great wisdom. The Oracle of Delphi was so respected it became a Roman institution. Elon Musk is highly-regarded as one of the most talented entrepreneurs of our age. All great leaders seem to have great visions, so it’s only natural to be lead to believe you need a great vision to become a great leader. When I reflect on this statement, I can only observe that most movements leading to huge advances originate in fact from both looking at the future and the past while acting in the present. Renaissance humanism sparked from a desire to bring back antique wisdom concepts to solve contemporary issues at the time, such as medieval scholasticism. I find it similar to how Elon Musk states using First Principles reasoning. Being a visionary is reverting back to fundamental truths, which are already known without being obvious, to innovate. Most questions we ask ourselves have probably been answered already. The job of a visionary is to build upon those answers with a fresh perspective. To create the future, one must go back to the past while assessing the present.