Humans are full of potential. We are loaded with more energy and ability than you can possibly imagine. Unless maybe you are John Lennon.
Thomas Edison said, “Ifwe did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” It was that type of enlightened thinking that enabled Edison to invent both the modern light bulb and the ‘How many does it take to screw in a light bulb?’ jokes.
As you work to become all that you can be, like the United States Army, you will encounter bumps and resistance along your journey. It is important to recognize the full value they provide. Because humans are like matchsticks. #RobThomas We are meant to be set on fire. It is the bumps and the friction we encounter that create the sparks and the heat that ignite us. It is the adversity and struggle that strengthen us and bring out our best. Like Budweiser in 1984.
Embrace the struggle. Value the resistance. Don’t avoid it. Go through it. It helps reveal all that you are capable of.
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I woke up this morning to one of the heaviest snowfalls I have seen in several years thanks to winter storm Orlena. The lake effect snow machine is in full effect here on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan. On top of that, the winds are whipping like the Dazz Band. And I say let it whip.
I love this kind of weather. Unlike hurricanes, tornados, floods and wildfires that leave massive destruction in their wake, a blizzard leaves the world better and more beautiful. After Orlena transforms the midwest and northeast into a fresh powder playground, images of the snowfall will be trending on social media like Gamestop. Or Grumpy Bernie.
Life Is Full of Blizzards
It’s useful to think of the challenges in your life like blizzards. They can be frustrating and disorienting. But once they pass, they often leave you better than they found you.
The Startup Blizzard
When I was first launching my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, the swirling uncertainty of startup-ness surrounded us. And that can really mess with you. Here is something I wrote about the experience we were going through 4 years ago.
From June 10th, 2016
Today I had a long talk with a co-worker who was having a hard time at work. Which is understandable. Because startups are kinda hard. Launching a startup is like walking in a blizzard. Wind and snow are all up in your grill. It’s cold. Visibility goes into the toilet. It’s difficult to navigate in these conditions.
In the middle of a blizzard, your survival instincts tell you to seek shelter. It’s natural to want to escape the relentless wind, disorienting snow and mounting drifts. Sitting by a crackling fire, drinking hot chocolate is far more appealing to most people.
But I like walking in blizzards. I like being out when no one else is. I like doing things that build my character, my will and my personal legend. In the same way a callus rises as the result of repeated friction, strength grows from pushing against resistance.
If a blizzard confronts you on your journey you have to keep walking. You must have faith that you know where you are heading. You have to take steps forward, even when it is hard.
Blizzards of the wintry, professional and personal kind are temporary. Eventually, the snow will stop falling. The wind will chill the eff out. And the sun will come out again.
When that happens, where will you be? It’s a matter of what you did during the blizzard. If you keep pushing, you will find yourself far ahead of where you started, far ahead of those who sought shelter, and closer to your ultimate goal. You’ll find the ultimate rewards far outweigh the hot chocolate you sacrificed along the way.
Blizzards are a part of life. They will make life hard for a while. But keep going anyway. Everything is more beautiful on the other side.
Follow Up Note
The Weaponry will turn 5 years old in April. Today we have 23 clients. Because we didn’t stop walking when things were hard.
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