Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” When you are experiencing a difficult time in your life, you must strive to continually stay in motion. There is no substitute for movement while in the midst of adversity. The elasticity of your body is matched only by the plasticity of your mind. The hurdles in your own mind will be the MOST difficult you will have to overcome.
Eight years ago I had one of my lungs removed. Now I run up and down mountains for fun. Lying in the hospital bed for five weeks, staring at a bloody one inch tube sticking out of my chest, I never imagined I would be here. I am writing this post mere minutes after finishing a 7-1/2 mile run up and down a volcanic crater in beautiful Honolulu, HI.
So often, we let fear guide our decisions. Agonizing over the failure of a successful business that I had built from nothing, I had given up on myself. I had lost all hope of bouncing back. When I thought about what I had done to become successful, I doubted I would have the resolve, the grit, to get back up and do it again.
Somewhere along the way, I realized that I don’t need to do that particular thing over again. I have already been down that road. I’ve learned those lessons. It is time for me to create a new path. I have new lessons to learn. I need to apply what I have already learned to projects I’ve yet to undertake.
Failure has begun to lose its meaning and its import. Failure, to me, connotes giving up. Trying something, and not achieving the desired result, is the path to creating something new. What you learn through unintended consequences may be the very thing that leads to a major breakthrough.
You cannot copy your way to success. You can learn from how other people have made their way there. You can, and should, adopt best practices. But YOU are the only one that can define your own personal triumph.
While in the depths of those dark moments, when it seems that no one can understand how profoundly lost you are, be assured that brighter days lie ahead. Don’t be mad at the winter for bringing dreary weather. The springtime of your renewal awaits. Begin preparing today for the return of the sun. You may not be able to go from cold and wet to warm and sunny overnight. Remember this: it also rains in paradise.