The Difference Between Vision and Sight







Helen Keller once said that ‘the most pathetic
person in the world is someone with sight but
no vision.’


Whilst I always loved the pathos of that statement
I have to concede that I’d have been put to the pin
of my collar to explain exactly the meaning of
those words.


Their meaning continued to elude me until my first
trip to Russia where I was responsible for managing
a small cohort of Economics students studying
European affairs.


By way of motivation for the lonely students I
became complicit with my Russian counterpart
in organising a series of blind dates for the love
starved students. In modern management parlance,
these blind dates became what are referred to as
‘win/win outcomes.’ They were a win for the Irish
lads in that they were being introduced to the most
stunning looking and accommodating of Russian
girls. The girls for their part were delighted with
the colour of our lads USDs. (Contrary to what
my mother thought, USDs are not contraceptive
intra-urinary devices, but rather hard cash
American dollars)


Everything was going swimmingly until the arrival
of two new lads – Mick and Jarlath – from Ballyhaunis.
They’d heard about the success of the scheme from a
smitten cousin and could barely contain their
excitement in anticipation.


I briefed them on the location, some ground rules
of engagement and said I’d look forward to learning
of their success the following morning at our tea break.


True to form, the guys presented the following morning.
When I enquired of them as to their success, Jarlath,
the more outspoken and charismatic of the two,
responded candidly.


‘Its like this now Padraiceen. We arrived at the hotel
exactly as you told us to and the two girls were already
there waiting for us. We were beside ourselves with
excitement and I sensed the girls were game ball also.
At first the conversation was a bit one sided as they
spoke no English and we spoke no Russian. But when
you’re brought up in the country you learn to
innovate or stagnate.’


‘Go on’ I said eagerly. ‘And what did they look like?


‘Mick’s was a vision and mine was a sight.’


Jarlath understood implicitly the difference between
vision and sight and so also do all great performers.
The trouble is that it takes SMACHT to craft and cajole
and create a vision – a vision for your business, your
career, your family or your country.


Will you have the SMACHT this week to clarify your
vision? The evidence sadly suggests you won’t.
As little as 5% of the population have clearly defined
in writing their burning desires.


What would it cost you this week to join that 5% club?


A small dose of SMACHT.


Pádraic Ó Máille is the creator of SMACHT, a business
therapy programme and the author of The Midas
Power – How to Go From Powerless to Powerful in
Seven Days. To connect with him go to or email him at




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