What do you do? What do you do when you lose a loved one, a parent, a friend? What do you do when a foreign government takes your child out of your arms (true story)? What do you do when your family moves you halfway around the world, or even just to a new part of town? What do you do when the rest of your team sucks, but you don’t? What do you do when an injury takes you off the field for the rest of the season? What do you do when you write an entire blog entry on Perseverance, then go to a mind-blowing session and realize you need to rewrite the blog? You shift.
I’ve been to a lot of meetings and sessions at Handshake - all of them good - but something was special about Tuesday night. Cody Martin presided over and hosted the last Perseverance session at PNC Bank’s Mortgage division in Dublin. Our guest speaker, Daniel Juday (if the name sounds familiar that’s because he is the younger but taller brother of Columbus’ chapter president, Joel Juday), shared his experiences of family, travel, and the universality of the human experience across the ethnic and global spectrum. And he introduced a concept that is the underpinning of Perseverance, the first of our 5Ps: Shift.
We are all going through something. Ask anybody. We heard some deeply moving accounts of the tragedies that life can hand us. Some worse than others, but there’s no use comparing because there will always be and have always been far worse and far more tragic. That’s not to bring you down, though. Remember, Perseverance is the theme, here, and Passion and Positivity are in the batter’s box and on deck. Stay with me.
How many times do you have to change course in a day? How about in a year, or in your lifetime? Perseverance as a concept assumes there will be resistance to encounter, battles to fight, and losses to deal with. Perseverance is not just about pushing forward no matter the force that is pushing back, it’s about finding a way over, under, around, and through the barriers we face. It’s also about evaluating your goals and shifting your priorities, mindset, and attitude as life comes at you, as it ebbs and flows - to decide if what’s on the other side of the barrier is truly worth the pursuit, or if your focus needs to be realigned. Example: your goal is to win a championship, but you don’t even make the playoffs. Perseverance says let’s shift our goal, shift our priority, shift our energy and move on to the next goal and the next battle.
At the risk of going too long, I’ll share this story:
A man watched a delicate butterfly struggling to escape from its tiny chrysalis. He so wanted to watch it stretch its wings and take flight for the first time. The butterfly seemed to be really struggling to free itself, so he used a sharp blade to carefully cut the chrysalis open and help it emerge with much less effort. Over the next couple of hours, he noticed the crumpled wings never expanded, never filled out, and soon the butterfly was still and lifeless.
What happened? He helped the butterfly, did he not? Why watch the butterfly struggle when it is within his power to take that burden away?
The butterfly, in its struggle to free itself from the tiny and rigid chrysalis, benefits from the monumental effort. Without straining, wiggling and twisting, fluid isn’t pumped to the outer edges of the wings and they never fill out, never dry, and never grow beyond their crumpled shape. The butterfly never flies. No struggle, no flight, no life.
In much the same way, Perseverance is the shifting and adapting to the follies of life: from breaking your pencil lead to receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. The struggle is often a gateway to the appreciation of the life you have and the strength to weather the storms along the way. With experience, you can even encourage and help others through their tough times.
Is there such a thing as a group epiphany? Maybe. Because everyone in that room that night seemed to have looked back to where they’ve been and discovered that they are where they are because they Persevered. They pushed through those chrysalis-type moments and seasons of life. They shifted their mindset, grew, and now they are stronger and more beautiful because of it.
So, what do you do when [insert your own personal struggle]? I invite you to consider what is holding you back from overcoming the barriers in your life. Persevere. Shift. Learn. Grow. Dare I say...spread your wings and fly!
Photos by mDraudt Photography