Developing Your Ability to See the Unseen

How do they do it? How do those visionary leaders see opportunities before the rest of us?   

Vision is critical to seeing the best opportunities. Unfortunately, many if not most people are blinded by either negative past experiences or their comfortable situation. 

What did the artist see before painting?

That is what we are discussing in this series. First, we discussed Appreciation, and then how to find our Hidden Potential. In this post, we will discuss developing your Vision to see the unseen. In the following three posts, we examine finding our Guiding the breakthrough, Collaborating with a great team and taking Action at the perfect time. 

In this post, we will focus on our vision. Seeing is more than just accepting what is in front of our eyes. Instead, it is 

Now What? Look at the Situation Differently 

Optical Illusions

Seeing the Unseen is reversing an optical illusion. Instead of creating something that will trick others and challenge their thinking, as disruptive leaders, we are focused on seeing what others don’t.  The good news is that the principles behind creating an optical illusion are useful for creating a disruptive product or service. Let’s take a look at 5 secrets of Sidewalk Art and other Optical Illusions.

Secret #1: Stop – Notice where the Light is Coming From

We often go through life on autopilot, simply reacting in the same old way. Then we see something different, like sidewalk art. We know there is a sidewalk there but it doesn’t look like a regular sidewalk.

It stops us in our tracks. 

To see the unseen and to see how someone else has done what we never thought possible, we also need to stop. We cannot see it with our normal way of thinking. 

The first thing we must do is to examine where the light is coming from. Artists create something special out of something ordinary by redirecting light. In the same way, innovation comes when someone looks at an ordinary problem with a different perspective and often in a different light. 

Stop and notice where the light is coming from.  

Secret #2: Challenge Your Perceptions of Reality 

In sidewalk art, the 2D looks like 3D. To the naked eye, the scene above looks like a waterfall but we know it is not. In the same way, many times persistent problems are not what they seem. There is a solution we just haven’t shed the right light on them to find the solution. As I’ve said before, impossible is simply not having the resources yet. 

Alter your perception of every situation. 

Secret #3: Close One Eye

Closing one eye disrupts your normal vision. Instead of using both eyes as you would normally, closing one eye forces you to see the world differently. In doing so, we can find the hidden methods in sidewalk art and also in obstacles. 

Alter your method of seeing. 

Secret #4: Study the Angles

Angles are the key to creating illusions. Check out this YouTube video on how to draw a hole. Notice it all starts with drawing the right lines in the right direction. Once you see what they do, you know you can replicate their success.

In the same way, once you understand the angles innovative leaders have used to create their success, you can also create your own disruption. Unlike the You Tube artist, you don’t have to replicate the disruptive leaders exact success but can use their use of angles to create your own success. 

Apply the use of Angles

Secret #5: See the Shading

Shading changes the light and therefore, alters our vision. In the world of sidewalk art, the shading or use of colors is critical to tricking our eyes to seeing what the artist wants us to see. Shading creates a dimension where there was none, thus the trick. 

In the same way, seeing the shading of our world helps us to see the opportunities. Instead of drastic black and white, right or wrong, good or bad. When we learn to see the world in degrees instead of absolute bi-polar choices, we find incredible opportunities. 

Apply your unique Shading



Loren Murfield, Ph.D.


I work with leaders and organizations to think bigger and reach higher to find breakthrough success. This is a process that I can help you learn. One of the ways I help clients is by guiding them through 11 Disruptive Trends.   Begin the process today by contacting me.

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