strength through adversity

SURVIVING OR THRIVING?

We were running a bit ragged there for a few years. You’ve heard parts of the story before, but when my late wife’s health meant more travel and new challenges, I had to try something different. What had worked before was no longer sufficient.

Once we caught our breath, we found exciting advantages in those new things we tried. We feared digital communication might seem a poor replacement for in-person connections, but they were never in competition. We improved the speed and clarity of our thoughts as they traveled to you, and then our personal conversations became that much deeper. The various channels of communication made wonderful complements for each other.

We might not have made that discovery—or made it in such record time—if not for terrible adversity. The universe gave us a shove, and we tried to ride the momentum forward.

We survived and, as it turns out, thrived.

In a recent company communication, LPL’s Angela Xavier shared that what makes “thrivalists” (we love LPL’s term!) different from the rest.

“We all know that with crisis comes opportunity,” she said, “and those that are going to thrive will definitely take advantage of those opportunities.”

Xavier mentions a few key moves that help thrivalists: practicing flexibility, reimagining the work, and embracing the new things you have access to. Each new environment brings new challenges and new paths.

Become a thrivalist in whatever way makes sense to you. We’ve described it in the past as discovering you’re actually “in the right place at the right time” or with the old chestnut “necessity is the mother of invention.”

And when you struggle? Xavier encourages us to “steal with pride”: what are your mentors, neighbors, and friends doing? How might you adapt, not just to survive—but to thrive?

Clients, we’re excited to help you with any of your plans and planning. Call or write when you’re ready.

Kiln-Fired Personalities

© Can Stock Photo / kosmos111

We all know people who know what they are about. They have clarity about that for which they strive. They focus on the essentials, and are not easily distracted. They understand the bigger picture, and their place in it.

These folks demonstrate considerable strength, firm adherence to their principles, and they usually are of service or value to others. A surprising fact applies to each of them: they all started out as soft little babies.

We have been privileged to know people who fit this description, and to read the biographies of others. The same pattern exists in people in every walk of life. In learning their stories, we often find considerable adversity or seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their past.

We’re reminded of clay, and pottery. Clay is soft and malleable, fine particles that are quite porous. Pottery is durable, impermeable, fused into a single item—not a mix of soft particles.

More than ten thousand years ago, humans were creating pottery from clay on at least four continents. We learned a long time ago that heating a clay vessel in a hot enough kiln for a long enough time transforms it into pottery.

The heat of the kiln changes the properties of soft clay. Particles fuse together. The chemistry changes. What emerges from the kiln is fully formed, durable and useful.

Perhaps adversity is a kiln that produces change within us.

We would never suggest that problems or misery are good. One cannot know the depths of heartache or pain that another is forced to bear. The point is, much of what happens, happens. It is beyond our control.

We may be able to influence our own reaction, how we choose to spend our energy and our minutes in the face of adversity. Just as we cannot know what others must bear, we are not qualified to judge how others respond. But for each of us, with our own challenges, there may be some choice.

Please call or write if you would like perspective or help on your own situation or circumstances.