Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Pepper de Callier: Things to Think About

Prague Leadership Institute |
13 July 2020

"Virtually every good thing in my life I can trace back to a misfortune, so my feeling is you don't know what's good and what's bad when things happen. You do not know. You have to wait to find out." Author and filmmaker, Sebastian Junger

This is one of those wonderful quotes that causes one to inhale sharply and nod one's head up and down when it's read. I came across this while reading a book titled Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein, which I heartily recommend. It immediately resonated with me and reminded me of one of my TED talks, "The Paradox of Adversity." The title of my talk came from Malcolm Gladwell and it so nicely sums-up so much of what life is about. Many times, when something happens to us that is not good—the loss of a job, a break-up in a relationship, a lost sale, a financial disaster, etc.—we get caught up in the darkness of the event, which is only human. However, over many years, and many adverse events in my life, I have learned one very important thing: Adversity is a coward. When you face it and move toward it, it dissipates, it runs away from you. By facing it, accepting it, and moving through it, you are depriving it of all its power, which brings you closer to the paradox of adversity, or creating a positive outcome from something really crummy. I agree completely with Junger, but I would add that it's your forward movement, getting back on the horse, that really exposes the cowardice of aversity. It's not easy and I wouldn't try to convince you it is. However, one thing I can say is this: It may not be easy, but it's certainly worth it. Give it a try.

Good luck on your journey!