After reading the article “Are you strong enough to be weak enough?” by Jonas Ellison, I was inspired by what great advice it is and how it can be applied differently. So if you haven’t read the article please do so first.
Just like when a horrible event occurs, like a death, accident etc. you have to give yourself time to grieve and to feel it. So should you in other areas of your life, even the less tragic ones. Let it be known I am not equating the loss of a loved one to something trivial, losing someone close to you is one of the hardest things to deal with!
So let’s say, for example, you have been working on an idea/project/book, whatever, for weeks, months, years even. You have been pouring everything you have into it, your blood, sweat and tears. You finally launch it and “crickets”, no response or a response so below your expectations you just want to throw in the towel. Not taking the time to grieve would most likely cause you to give up. If you have been working on something so hard it hurts when it doesn’t go like you planned, you’re allowed to grieve, you’re allowed to be pissed off and you’re allowed to take it to heart! Just know this, if it hurts that bad, it means two things:
- That you have passion for that idea/project/book and
- That you definitely should not give up!
In the architectural industry when things go wrong they are set in stone, most of the time literally. Michael Caine put it so perfectly “always use the difficultly.” So in construction if something is built in the wrong position and cannot be moved, for one of a million reasons, time, cost etc. you design something even better in order make the “difficulty” work for you, to produce something that is better than what you came up with before.
In life when you have these setbacks, often people say things like “Well, take it on the chin. Way it goes. What can you do? Best to move on…” as mentioned in the article by Jonas. If you have spent a huge amount of time, money, effort etc. on trying to make something work it’s not that easy to move on. So sit with it, give yourself time to grieve, a day, even a week if need be, define that time period to be “down in the dumps” and drag bottom lip, but stick to it. When you are in that state of mind you have thoughts like “I should have done that differently” or “Why did I say that” or “I should have researched that more.” This is your time to “use the difficulty”! If you just skip over the grieving process you will never figure out what you did wrong. Fine, maybe I shouldn’t say never, because there are people who can go straight to moving on without taking the time. Who can recognise their mistakes without the grief, but like anything worth having it takes practice, it takes many rejections to get there.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Our strength grows from our weakness” so “Are you strong enough to be weak enough?”
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