Vision 4 min read

3 Ways To Maintain Your Giraffe Vision

There's good reason to keep your head in the clouds.

In his book, "Instinct: The Power To Unleash Your Inborn Drive," T.D. Jakes shares the wisdom gleaned during his time on safari in South Africa.   Giraffes, he learned, eat and absorb most of their water from their plant-based diet, feasting on the tallest part of acacia trees. By eating at the level of their vision, they enjoy the richest nutrients. Nevertheless, giraffes still must get down low to drink water every couple of days. The stooping can be perilous as it leaves them vulnerable to attack.  

Jakes reminds us to “taste the treetops” as we live our highest vision for ourselves. At the same time, we must guard ourselves against lowering our perspectives.

With this in mind, here are three ways you can maintain your giraffe vision.

1. Set Up Your Space

When aiming to achieve a new level of success, it's imperative to articulate your giraffe vision all around you. Thoughts and words are powerful, but it's crucial to keep physical reminders around you at all times, too. Top performers do this all the time. Beyoncé, for example, kept a picture of an Academy Award taped up on her wall to help keep her motivated. You can maintain your giraffe vision in your car by listening to powerful books and songs that get your energy flowing. Your desk at work or at home should have colors, images and words that speak to you of success. When we keep our vision elevated and focus on what we really want out of life, the path rises to meet us. Once we tap into our own heights –– our own giraffe vision –– we will live out the life that we are striving for.

2. Don't Play In The Mud

In a now infamous Facebook study, over 689,000 people’s reactions to negativity were analyzed. The results were telling: The more negative the messages, images and people around you, the more negative you feel. As T.D. Jakes writes, “Just because turtles dwell at your feet doesn’t mean you should come down from your height and barter with, debate, or eat alongside them.” The turtles in your life might question your politics, laugh at your spirituality, whisper about your career move. Do not get into the mud with them! It might only take a second to send an unpleasant email or to write a fuming post, but the energetic drain will deplete you for much longer. Rise from the fray and stop yourself in your tracks. Hit delete and leave the mud! The sky's the limit for you. Maintain your giraffe vision as you wish the turtles farewell.

3. Use Turtles As Fuel

Have you thanked the turtles in your life? One study, “The Role of Positivity and Connectivity in the Performance of Business Teams,” reached an unexpected conclusion: The more you are criticized, the better you perform. 50,000 leaders were studied; the ones who received the most negative comments from critics were also the ones to surpass expectations of productivity. In order to maintain giraffe vision, you can’t simply ignore the turtles. You must see them, hear their judgements and even feel gratitude for their attacks. Their attacks and judgements serve as immediate reminders to elevate your own thoughts, energy and actions; their words serve as clear warning signs to detach ourselves from them. We thank them for serving as examples of how we should never become. As they work to bring you down, steel your giraffe vision and pursue the high-minded life you envision for yourself.

Share your voice


Some Ideas Aren't Worth Our Time

T.D. Jakes recalls a powerful birthday experience.

Vision 1 min read

How Well Do You Know T.D. Jakes?

Test your knowledge.

Vision 2 min read

Chickens Vs Eagles

How will you live?

Vision 1 min read

What to read next

    Join the mailing list

    Sign up to get a weekly serving of motivation and inspiration sent directly to your inbox.