As a futurist who helps uncover blind spots, I appreciate the irony of having acquired one.

6 days ago I woke up with migraine. This fairly common occurrence came with a new (for me) feature: a visual disturbance in one eye. I realised there might be an issue when I googled on day 4 how long these usually last to discover migraine auras are usually done and dusted within half an hour. After an evening in the Emergency Department, we’ve ruled out the more sinister potential causes, but are not yet sure if it will resolve or become a permanent feature.

Rather than unveiling a blind spot, I’m learning to accommodate one.

Learning to see

In my training as both an artist and futurist, there was an emphasis on learning to see in different ways. Where do you place your focus? How well can you shift between sharp focus on detail and loosely viewing the entire scene before you? I’m taking these abstract ideas and using them very literally to learn to work with my current range of vision.

Fill in the blanks

Did you know your nose obstructs a good part of your vision?

Despite this, you are rarely aware of seeing your nose. Instead, your brain conjures up an assumption about what is in that space, based on what each eye can see and mixed with memory of what you have seen there before. It’s an illusion.

Rather than surface and question my assumptions, right now I’m counting on my brain’s ability to creatively interpret what it has seen to make some assumptions about what is happening to my left.

Ultimately this has been an instructive and humbling experience. I believe that working with blind spots and uncovering assumptions is an important part of any strategic work. This experience has reminded me that these phenomena arise for a reason to serve a purpose.

It’s our responsibility to recognise when blind spots and assumptions are no longer serving us, and help them to leave well.