My long awaited dream of becoming a father was crushed at my wife’s first ultrasound.
Since when did hardships become a prerequisite for career advancement? Everyone has experienced their fair share of difficult times, but most people know it is what you do with those times that mark your growth.
My long awaited dream of becoming a father was crushed at my wife’s first ultrasound. While most new parents discover their first child’s gender at the first ultrasound, we were told our child only had a 60% chance to survive. Angered by the doctor’s diagnosis, I reacted like most Dad’s would. I wanted to deck the doctor. I officially possessed every known emotion all at once. I was a wreck.
Our soon-to-be first child had wrecked her Dad. My dreams were wrecked. My goals we drug in the mud. My hopes were hopeless. And my job and career were soon to be radically changed forever.
A few months later, our first child was born with Down syndrome. Followed up by open-heart surgery to repair our daughter’s huge hole in her heart. This single event marked the beginning to restructuring the destruction our new child had caused.
Dreams, hopes, and aspirations are great, but nothing compares to a complete wreckage reshaping the plans for the future. Especially if the wreckage is caused by one you love. Instead of viewing my daughter’s condition as a destruction of my plans, I saw it as a gift to see the world differently. My career plans shifted. I was not going to settle. My daughter taught me to push the limits. She taught me to never settle for the ordinary when extraordinary is sitting behind the wall of routine completely unknown.
Sometimes our career paths become ordinary. They might need a good painful wrecking ball to birth new life or the impossible. The wreck could be purposeful, or it could just happen with no true cause. Nevertheless, a great wreckage awakens dormant or untested dreams.
Growth, expansion, and development are accelerated when hardships are confronted and embraced for the lessons to be learned.
While our family challenge wrecked my normal career path and it also led to an adventurous, entrepreneurial career. These are the responses I learned about handling wrecks that led to growth, specifically career growth.
1. Erase it. Wrecks will tempt you to latch on to the past.
While there are many great aspects of a wreckage, there are also some items to be aware of. When you experience hardships, be careful with your default. Many have fallen victim to not only returning to the life they previously had but also molesting their default life. People grip on to their past life, good or evil, when hardships arise. They know their past. It is comfortable and predictable. When wreckage happens, people are challenged to change, but you are just as likely to resist change and latch on for dear life to your old ways. This is a matter of control. Since they can’t control their present heartache, they return to anything giving them control back. Erase the control and move forward to development.
2. Evaluate it. Wrecks will challenge your set priorities to be reset.
Priorities are important in life and in a career. Most people have a set of priorities they live by, whether they are cognitive of them or not. Priorities set our day in motion and dictate what needs to be done every day. A wreck will send you back to the drawing board to evaluate your true values and priorities. After you evaluate your list, learn to embrace the new guideline setting your day in motion.
3. Embrace it. Wrecks will expose all hidden insecurities and vulnerabilities.
Troubling times act as a detoxing agent to flush out all the toxins. If you didn’t know you had an issue with anger, wrecks bring it out. Do you possess unforgiveness or maybe even hatred? Watch what the wreck will expose. This lesson from a wreck is not fun, but it does possess one of the greatest potentials for growth and development in life. You will have the opportunity to face the problems hidden and heal them. Do not be scared of being exposed. Embrace the moment, own it, and power through into your new journey.
4. Empower it. Wrecks will shake your vision to see new colors and objects.
Have you ever stopped noticing the surroundings when you routinely travel the same driving path? Then one day you are jolted for some reason. Maybe there is an accident, or you have to change your time of travel. In those changing moments, you start to look around at your surroundings. You notice buildings you have never seen before. Wreckage causes you to look at your present situation to see new opportunities. Maybe you never realized a talent or gift that you have had for years. Maybe you see a window to jump into a new career. Whatever it is, wrecks cause people to see differently. Empower this new vision and begin your new journey.
Your next wreckage might be your greatest gift to your career. Which one of these four challenge your present situation? Now apply that response to your wreckage and witness your career growth.
Photo: Flickr/ Lee_Salford