Craig Copeland


Lessons on Being a Creative Visionary

I want to introduce you to what Creative Vision is and what it can do for you. The entire concept of Disruptive Thinking is designed to guide you to unlocking your hidden abilities toward finding your own genius. Within this framework I will show you what tools you need to acquire and how to do this simply and without the painstaking restrictions from years of learning some hard-to-master skillset. This system is focused on reacquainting you with the attributes you already possess, but that may have remained dormant. Get ready to tap into your true gift.

At the end of this page, you’ll find a complete list of all the articles I have written on accessing your Creative Visionary mindset.

What is a Creative Visionary?

A Visionary is someone who can piece unlikely things together and see where they’re headed. They imagine something that currently does not exist but may someday. It is more than innovation in the sense that while innovation is primarily about improvement, envisioning something that doesn’t exist often leads us in a new direction.

An early example of this is how Ada Lovelace, a young girl, envisioned the future of computing by imagining all the radically bold possibilities that computers could accomplish by articulating what Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine could ultimately become.

The ability to develop a clear picture of the future dictates the probability of opportunity. Technology is often an area where we see visionary leadership occur most, especially when implementing new ideas that pioneer both new thought and direction.

This includes the microchip, the personal computer, cellular phones, the Worldwide Web, the Internet, cloud-based storage, and Artificial Intelligence.

But these futuristic visions can happen in many other fields of development as well, fashion, architecture, engineering, transportation, electricity, medicine, and so much more.

Fantasy Becomes Reality

A simple way to understand this better is using imagination. Writers of books, stories, plays, movies, and comics have historically set the tone for how our future unfolds.

In early comic books, imaginations such as rocket ships flying through outer space, landing on a planet, then taking off to venture to another world, was the beginnings of Science Fiction. Today, jettisoned rocket boosters have been an issue in both safety and cost. SpaceX reusable launch system program is addressing this very issue. By figuring out how to implement the idea of a rocket launching and re-landing, thereby saving the boosters that were once discarded, SpaceX is bringing us closer to what was once considered only science fiction. They are currently developing a Starship system which would ultimately be reusable and more efficient.


Star Trek also gave us ideas that have become reality, such as automatic doors, smaller communication devices (also the inspiration of the earlier flip phones), medical scanners, etc.

Imagination plays a huge role in the visionary’s ability to look ahead and see the greater possibilities.

Artists are usually cited as visionaries for their beautifully unusual concepts and ideas. Even comedians show us a humorous way to see the world through a unique lens.

“It’s odd that we have thirty-one flavors of ice cream, but only two political parties.”
~ George Carlin

Learning to become a visionary requires one to tap into their more creative mindset, which many deem a luxury or even a silly extracurricular activity, so most people don’t see the value or importance of this ungrounded style of thinking.

Yet we are beginning to revisit the ideas of the people who have changed the way we do things, and we are slowly becoming more open to the idea that creative, intuitive, and imaginative thinking are potentially more powerful than just rational thinking alone.

As Albert Einstein suggested so long ago, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

When we take our focus off the limiting confines of chasing money, staying competitive, and amassing power, we actually free up our creative minds to expand, think in new ways, contemplate bigger ideas, and to coin a phrase from the sixties TV show, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Something I often say bears repeating: “Society is cookie-cutter; however, people are not.”

Therefore, we should learn to reintroduce ourselves and embrace our lesser used but more powerful ability to create, explore, and imagine.

Are Futurists Today's Disruptors?

Visionaries simply imagine what does not yet exist but might someday, as some forms of “star-gazing” (or daydreaming) provide a glimpse into the possible future. Therefore, envisioning can mean seeing in a utopian way what does not yet exist on earth—but might exist in another realm—such as the ideal or perfect realm as imagined or thought. Examples are Buckminster Fuller or Fillipo Brunelleschi in architecture and design, Malcolm Bricklin in the automobile industry, and Ada Lovelace in computing. Some people even use mathematics to make visionary discoveries about the nature of the universe. In that sense, a skilled visionary could appear to have similar qualities of what we once referred to as a prophet, someone who foretold events yet to come. In other words, a visionary means that a person can see what something could be long before it actually happens.

The ability to get a clear picture of the future is the reason the concept is also used in the business field to denote someone able to anticipate future opportunities. For instance, there is the often-cited case of the American entrepreneur Steve Jobs who has been referred to as a visionary because he was considered ahead of his time, implementing new ideas that pioneered the field of technology, much as Robert Noyce did for the microchip. Experts do not equate this as an uncanny ability to predict the future so much as a developed capability of viewing the world differently, whereas the individual can identify patterns, trends, and opportunities in order to connect the dots. Some even conceive it as their ability to form a unique picture of what they want for the future and make it happen.

There are authors who consider the concept of the visionary as one that is constituted by a set of acquired skills and, thus, a state of practice that can be learned. For this reason, there are now, supposedly, training and educational programs that promise its learners that they too can become visionary leaders. This is demonstrated by the growing number of what we refer to as “futurists” who can see future trends (once thought to have theological value), that others haven’t yet noticed and are able to direct companies to steer or think in new directions. This newer type of visionary strives to reach beyond illusory boundaries in order to define unthought of but potentially useful concepts.

How Does One Cultivate a Visionary Mindset?

This is where creativity and imagination come into play. The first rule of practice is to quiet the rational mind. See, your rational mind will always seek out logic, certainty, and empirical conclusions to base its thinking upon; anything that leads to a sound conclusion. For the Visionary, the opposite is true.

Step 1: Don’t Draw Conclusions

Keep yourself open to different outcomes and possibilities. In this way you do not limit your thinking or ideas. Instead, you become more willing to be wilder and less constrained in your thinking process. A great trick for this is to forget the concept of problem-solving, and instead, just see where the adventure leads. Without the pressure of problem-solving, you are now able to explore greater and play bigger.

Step 2: Eliminate Boundaries

Instead, flip the paradigm. Don’t immediately go for the practical or the usual. If we take something as simple as a man in a red cape flying (superman), or buildings bending over on themselves (the movie Inception), then we can begin to see where possibilities can take us. Boundaries dictate the need for conclusions. Convergent thinking is essentially funneling down to the most likely or logical outcome. Instead, remain divergent in your thinking by not immediately drawing conclusions… See where these multi-directional thoughts take you.

Step 3: Learn to Connect Unlikely Dots

Figure out how two unlikely things can come together in a useful way. A+B+C+D (Always Be Connecting the Dots) – A system Richard Branson uses when coming up with new business ideas.

“Be on the lookout for what is new and interesting. Take time to use
your intuition to interpret what you have discovered to generate great ideas.
Focus and direct your ideas on creating value.”
~ Richard Branson

We do this by remaining curious, and asking questions, rather than assuming something to be true. Adults approach many things as if they already know what to expect, so in this way, they actually limit their ability to expand their thinking. Children, on the other hand, approach everything, even something they have experienced before as if it is new. They do this because they rely on their imagination. One day a stick is a magic wand. Another time it becomes the sword of a valiant knight. Learning to not be so literal with your perceptions can have great benefits for expanding both intuition and imagination.

Step 4: Pretend

Learn from your children how to reacquaint yourself with this attribute. Keep this in mind; nothing humans use existed before someone created or imagined it. The idea of pretending is to stretch the boundaries of thought to explore beyond logic and comfort. Another way to state this is not to conform simply because that is always how it’s been done. Discover a new way. Cellular phones, rockets, trains, clothing, radio, electricity, airplanes, and even medical apparatuses did not exist until someone imagined them into existence. In this way their ability to pretend drove what their concept could ultimately become and do.

Step 5: Challenge Your Beliefs

Question your thinking. Why do you think the way you do? What is the basis for believing the things you believe? Do you challenge authority? Do you question facts and statements, or do you just accept them to be true without vetting their source? Keep this concept in mind: We are not born with prejudice. It is taught to us and instilled within us through tribal beliefs, because we want to belong, and because we haven’t been shown an alternate way to think about this. The same goes for worry and doubt. It is said that we are just wired this way. The truth is that because we are a society that covets rational thinking, we are taught to think in terms of survival and scarcity, and therefore, we paint a doom and gloom scenario about the potential of losing what we have. If you believe in God, then you know that he didn’t create us to fail, and even more likely, he didn’t instill us with worry or doubt. If you do not believe in a god, the same rules still apply.

Step 6: Think Like a Billionaire

Here’s why: During my research I discovered a unique, subset of Disruptors. These were based upon the qualities they displayed. According to psychologist Kristen Armstrong, a strategic wealth coach at Ascent Private Capital Management, the super wealthy tend to be visionaries. She described many of her clients as “force of nature” people.

“I see again and again that they have a really great ability to envision possible futures …
[and] an amazing ability to focus their efforts and energy once they see a possibility.”

And as much as I personally attempt to teach people not to chase money, I think what is really unique and highly visionary is that of the billionaires I have studied and researched. When they are creating their unique idea or company, they approach it as if it already exists. What this means, essentially, is that they are natural and powerful manifesters, or what Neville Goddard referred to as “awakened imagination.” They see themselves as if they are in the moment of their success rather than what the majority do, to hope their ideas and dreams become reality. These billionaires live, breathe, and play as if their vision is happening now. They are mentally enjoying the results and benefits of their creation.

Another thing they tend to do very well is to move on to the next creative idea once they have succeeded with their present venture. Like the futurist, they are already designing and orchestrating the next big thing. I am not suggesting they always succeed. In fact, like T-Boone Pickens once illustrated in his book “The First Billion is the Hardest”, at one point he lost 750 million dollars, yet later created an idea that was valued at 3.2 billion.

And if you study Jeff Bezos’ history with Amazon, it was riddled with pitfalls and naysayers, but whatever you think about him, Bezos saw Amazon as already existing and benefiting customers. His vision was unwavering.

Practice these six ideas in order to cultivate a visionary framework for creating new designs, concepts, and thoughts. In no time you will be shifting your thinking style to one that is closer to genius and is now more dynamic, highly divergent, and ultimately well-balanced.

Other Articles:

Here is a complete list of articles I have written on Creative Visionary Thinking. Enjoy!