Follow Hope, Not Fear: How Perseverance Fuels A Life of Significance #15

Warwick Fairfax

March 25, 2020

If you’ve had a crucible experience, you are going to have to persevere through feelings of loss and fear, as well as additional setbacks, as you chart your course to a life of significance. Crucible Leadership founder and BEYOND THE CRUCIBLE host Warwick Fairfax shares stories from his family history (his great-great grandfather John Fairfax) and world history (Winston Churchill), while also discussing his own efforts to claw his way back emotionally and practically after losing $2.25 billion — and the company itself — in a failed takeover of the family media dynasty he inherited. Perseverance is so critical to the stories of these men — and every man or woman who seeks to bounce back from a crucible experience — that it should be considered a gift that flows from our most challenging circumstances. “In our lowest moments,” Warwick tells co-host Gary Schneeberger, we find strength and courage and perseverance we never knew we had.”

Hightlights

 

  • Crucible experiences are the soil from which perseverance grows (2:00)
  • How perseverance is the key to being a successful leader (2:59)
  • Perseverance should be considered a gift of a crucible experience (4:22)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s thoughts about the importance of perseverance (6:08)
  • What does perseverance look like in the midst of a crucible experience (6:57)
  • Perseverance begins with doing just one thing (8:44)
  • Combating fear is key to perseverance (10:03)
  • Perseverance and significance run on the same fuel (13:16)
  • The importance of knowing your “why” to help you persevere (14:20)
  • The perseverance of John Fairfax (17:08)
  • Why it’s important to have friends and family to inspire and help you maintain your perseverance (23:04)
  • The inspiring and instructive persistence of Winston Churchill (24:27)
  • You needn’t live a “grand” life to find perseverance and significance (29:06)
  • Perseverance tips from top business magazines (32:56)

Transcript

Gary S:
Welcome everyone to Beyond the Crucible. I’m Gary Schneeberger, your co-host of the podcast and the Communications Director of Crucible leadership and you have clicked play. You have subscribed to, you have loaded, uploaded. You are listening to a podcast that helps people live and lead with significance. That’s the goal of Beyond the Crucible, to help you live and lead with significance, and we do that through the prism of crucible experiences. Those moments in life, we all recognize them. We may not call them crucible experiences when we have gone through them, but we recognize them as painful failures and setbacks that can feel like the world has changed. The course of the river of your life has been altered.

Gary S:
The trajectory of where you’re headed has shifted. They are painful experiences, but they’re not the end of your story. They are in many cases, the beginning of your story, if you do what we encourage you to do on this podcast, which is to learn the lessons of those crucible experiences, to apply those lessons, to craft a vision, to make that vision a reality, and to live a life that’s pointed to a life of significance. That’s what we talk about here at Beyond the Crucible. With us as always, is the architect, the author of Crucible Leadership, and the host of Beyond the Crucible, Warwick Fairfax.

Warwick F:
Hey, Gary, great to be here.

Gary S:
Warwick, we’ve got an indispensable subject I think we’re talking about today, and that is perseverance. One of the things, before we really get into talking about how perseverance works in our lives and how specifically it applies to leadership and Crucible Leadership, is that it seems that crucibles are the soil from which perseverance can grow. In other words, it’s really hard to envision a circumstance where you can move beyond your crucible, without having a measure of perseverance in your life. Is that a fair statement?

Warwick F:
Yes, Gary, absolutely. Many of us will go through a crucible of one description another it could be a business failure, getting fired, health challenge, loss of a loved one, and it’s not easy to come back from devastating setbacks. But without perseverance, it’s really tough to come back, and we’ll talk more about this as our discussion continues. It’s almost a choice to get out of bed or not. Do I this day, get out of bed and say, okay, I’m in a direst of circumstances, the lowest of lows, but I’m going to keep going. Perseverance is really the key to bouncing back from a crucible experience and certainly, the key to a fulfilling life or even to be a successful leader. I can’t think of any leader that I can think of that succeeded in their field without perseverance. You could pick business, athletics, the arts. It’s just tough. There’s setback after setback, disappointment after disappointment, but that sense of perseverance is the key to life and leadership and the key to bouncing back from crucibles.

Gary S:
It is true that it’s very hard to be a leader, to make your mark on society in whatever way that you choose to do it, without having some measure of perseverance. I do, as I always do when we do one of these episodes where it’s just the two of us talking about a principle of crucible leadership, I did a search for quotes about perseverance, like I do a search for quotes about character, and quotes about humility and about transparency and it returned, that search on Google returned 35,000 results. Perseverance is a topic that people talk about and that people who have achieved some level of significance slash success have had to muster in their lives. That’s why they talk about it.

Warwick F:
Absolutely.

Gary S:
You said something when we were talking about how we were going to go through this episode yesterday. You said something I thought was just really poetic, where you talked about the gift of a crucible, and that the fruit of that, and one of the fruits of the gift of a crucible is perseverance. Explain what you meant by that.

Warwick F:
Crucibles are never fun, but out of the ashes of your crucible experience can come a vision. It could be to help others that have, if you’d been through terrible circumstances, whether it’s bereavement, losing a loved one, or abuse, you can have the sense of you want to help other people and so out of the ashes, a crucible experience can come as a sense of perseverance, a sense of wanting to help others to make a difference. Sometimes in our lowest moments, we find strength and courage and perseverance that we never knew we had. It’s really is, somebody once said, one of our recent podcast guests, we learn the most during the low points rather than the high point. It doesn’t feel fun at the time. It feels agonizing, excruciating but years down the track we’ll never really say, gosh I’m so glad I went through it, but there are things we learned about ourselves and about who we are and what our deepest desires and passions about and just how much character and strength and perseverance we have. That can be the fruit of a crucible experience.

Gary S:
That gift can truly be knowing that we can persevere. Knowing that we can survive. We talk about crucible experiences, difficult things that occur in life. One of those 33,000 quotes that I did pull is from Dr. Martin Luther King jr, and I just thought it was just extraordinarily phrased when he said this, “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” At its core, especially in relation to leadership and crucible leadership moving forward, keeping in motion, keeping pressing toward the vision and the goal. That’s really what perseverance looks like in the universe that we’re talking about here, isn’t it?

Warwick F:
It is. That’s a very good quote and that is so true. Part of it is getting up every morning. It’s what am I going to do positively to move forward? If you’re unemployed, okay what is it I can do to find a job? Where can I go? Places I can volunteer, employment agencies who do I know? Maybe if you’ve been through some bereavement or abuse, how can I turn this experience to help others? So It’s really getting up in the morning and saying, okay, what positive step can I take today? I may not have the end vision or the total clarity about where this is going, but what’s something positive I can do today? To use an over worn sports analogy, what could I do to move the ball a few yards down the field?

Warwick F:
The touchdown may be so far away you can’t even see it, but don’t get so focused on, okay, there’s these millions of things that I got to do, how am I going to do at all? It’s what one thing can I do today that’s a positive step to move forward? Really that’s probably the key to perseverance as we were discussing earlier. It’s a choice. It’s a choice to move forward. There are several things that’s a bigger a topic, but I think of forgiveness. You can be sitting in bed saying, I’m not going to get out of bed today and do anything positive because I’m just going to sit and be angry at those people that hurt me or did me in or I’m going to be angry at myself.

Warwick F:
If that’s holding you back, which anger and resentment and lack of forgiveness can, it’s like a millstone around our neck. I don’t have to agree with things. I don’t have to say what happened was right, but I’m going to put that aside and I’m going to move forward because if it’s not serving me time to toss those negative emotions away. What positive thing can I do today? It’s really a choice to say, okay, no matter what’s happened in the past, how can I move forward? What one positive thing can I do today? That is the key because over days, weeks, months and years those series of positive things will almost inevitably lead to a very positive direction. If you keep doing that or at least it’s certainly better than the alternative.

Gary S:
That’s very wise to point out that no matter what happened in the past, you have to move on, move forward as that quote from Martin Luther King indicated. But there’s also sometimes no matter what may happen in the future, sometimes what can lead us to not want to get out of bed figuratively or literally is that we fear something that’s coming up. Fear of something that’s coming down the road. We fear where things might lead. It’s interesting that perseverance can be tied to what has come before and what may be coming up ahead that might be fearful to us. What would be your advice, Warwick? There are people listening right now and they’re in an emotional place where they don’t know if they have perseverance, they don’t know if they can muster perseverance. I know you said get up, put one foot in front of the other, but from an emotional perspective, how can listeners orient themselves to take that step? To put that left foot in front of the right foot and get moving.

Warwick F:
I think of two words and that’s hope and fear. Follow hope, not fear. I think of Margie Warrell who had on the podcast a bit ago and she is all about helping women and men be brave and toss away fear. She uses this phrase for the sake of what? We cannot let fear control us. It’s often fear is an emotion. Sometimes it can be helpful, there’s primitive men and women we’re out in the wilderness and bears coming, okay it’s understandable to be fearful. Let’s run. I get that.

Gary S:
Survival instinct.

Warwick F:
There’s a reason for it but don’t let the fear of the unknown or what if I fail again? What if I’m humiliated again? What if, what if, what if? It’s like, okay, that could happen, but you’ve got to be willing to take a risk. That’s a key part of perseverance is be willing to take a risk and that’s where, again, I love the phrase that Margie uses for the sake of what? It helps to have a vision. It maybe you’re a cancer survivor or again, an abuse survivor, your notion, maybe I want to help other people who are in my situation. That’s for the sake of what? I know I’m fearful. I know I might be rejected but this is too important. This is more than just me. I want to help other people.

Warwick F:
It’s that sense of hope, it’s that sense of cause it’s the vision. Maybe you’ve got a business that you have an idea of that you think will really help people. I’m a big believer with significance for the sake of being something that is more than just focused on yourself because to me to overcome fear and inertia when it’s for the sake of other people that to me is a higher wattage lamp or it has greater strength to pull you out of a funk and out of a, it’s all hopeless. Fear is a natural part of being human but I think it’s for the sense of hope, for the sake of what that says, okay, I know I’m fearful, I get that but I choose not to let my fears define me.

Warwick F:
Yes, I’ll be willing to fail. Maybe I’ll be mocked and rejected but you know what? This is too important, it’s not about me. It’s about helping others. That’s probably the key to conquering fear, which is the biggest reason you just don’t want to get out of bed. It’s like I was hurt badly last time. I’m never going to emerge again because I don’t want to get hurt. That’s understandable but you can’t let fear control your life. That leads to despondency and I think Margie Warrell also uses this phrase from Thoreau, which I love, which is we don’t want to lead lives of quiet desperation. You don’t want to be that man or that woman. You don’t want to be that person. The way to avoid living a life of quiet desperation is one foot in front of the other, get out of bed and just what is it that’s going to motivate you to take that next step? How can helping people really be part of that? That’s the key. It’s hope of a fear.

Gary S:
It sounds like as you described that, and I hope you hear this listeners, it sounds like the fuel, the same fuel that fuels being able to have perseverance, the same fuel of perseverance is the fuel of significance. Those things, a vision, a vision will lead you to a life of significance. If you know what it is you want to accomplish to help others, that will drive you. But that same vision will lead you to perseverance and lead you to bounce off walls that want to block you and find ways around walls that want to block you.

Warwick F:
Exactly. You have to have fuel and the fuel is vision, significance. That’s what helps you with perseverance. We’ll talk later about some examples from history and my family, in fact, my own life but that’s pretty much the key is got to be something that’s motivating you. Maybe you kind of destitute and your family is sort of in and out of halfway homes for the sake of what could be, I want my family to have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs and that’s motivating, that’s a powerful vision too. It’s for the sake of what, what is your why that really can fuel you to be able to move forward.

Gary S:
Okay. You’ve just jumped ahead and what I was going to do by saying that it’s so fascinating. We did not talk about this listeners, we did not use the phrase, what is your why prior to this recording, but I pulled for the end of this podcast, I’m going to list three things that come from top business magazines about how you can find perseverance, how you can live in and pursue perseverance. One of the things, I’m going to give one of them away now, I’ll give two more at the end but one of the three things I was going to talk about, Success Magazine pointed out that fuel for perseverance is to remember your why. What is your vision? From a leadership perspective, a business perspective, that’s what Success Magazine in addition to you Warwick say is extremely important. We have two more coming towards the end. You mentioned Warwick, no go ahead.

Warwick F:
Just on that one real briefly. Especially in the world of crucible leadership, you’ve gone through a crucible, a devastating failure, a personal setback. The why can be rooted in, as I mentioned before, the ashes of that crucible experience. Whether it’s business failure or getting fired, a divorce, abused, loss of a loved one, it can be, okay, how can I use my pain to help others? When you’ve gone through certain experiences, it gives you a unique empathy for others. That’s really the key I find is often the why will come out of the ashes of the crucible. Doesn’t have to, but it often does.

Gary S:
That goes back listener and Warwick, that goes back to what I said at the top of the episode. That word that you said about the gift of the crucible, the gift of the crucible is the why for what it is that you’re going to pursue. You mentioned Warwick that we’re going to start talking about some examples and I’d like to have you, if you would start with a family example, your great, great grandfather, John Fairfax, because I have here, if you’re watching on YouTube, you’ll see it. I have here the book that you quote often on the life of John Fairfax. After you set up the story, Warwick about how perseverance played such a big role in John Fairfax’s founding of the media company that you were heir to, I want to read a couple of paragraphs from the book that really hammer home that really elucidate the perseverance that he and his wife Sarah had. Share with listeners a little bit about your great, great grandfather and his truly, truly perseverant life.

Warwick F:
John Fairfax came out from Australia in the late 1830s. He had started a newspaper in Leamington in England and he was sued by a local lawyer twice. The judge ruled in John Fairfax’s favor that the story was accurate, that it was not liable, but the court costs ended up bankrupted him even though he was justified in the court. He comes out to Australia with his young family with almost nothing, but that really didn’t discourage him. He had this vision of a paper that would in this young colony of Australia, and just a couple of things that he said to me it’s interesting. This dream kind of wouldn’t die. He was the local librarian in what’s now the State Library of New South Wales. He and the guy Charles Kemp, who would become the editor of the paper while John ran the business side they would sit long into the night and they had this vision of this newspaper, which would be the Sydney Morning Herald.

Warwick F:
They called it the plan because they wanted to buy it and run it collectively. This newspaper would be without fear to express opinion without their approach of self-interest. Sworn to no master and free from the narrow interest of sectarianism. It was a vision of how it would serve people without being beholden to one party or another. He talked about doing their utmost for the improvement and growth of the colony. John would handle the business side. His partner Charles Kemp would handle the journalistic side and together they collaborate on the editorial. They would fight for just causes and expose abuses. It was very idealistic, a very strong vision and it carried them through. One other brief thing almost within the same year that they bought the paper Sydney Morning Herald in 1841 Australia went through a big recession and the company was on a knife edge.

Warwick F:
They had to rally their employees and say, look, we’re going to have to cut wages back a bit. We’re going to cut back what we receive as partners, but I promise you’ll have a job and we’ll do our best to pay you back. It wasn’t easy, but what got them through that first crisis after they bought the paper, it was their belief in the vision that this was too important. They were going to do their level best to keep going. The vision really enabled John to get over his past disappointment in England, prior bankruptcy of his paper, the unjust treatment of that lawyer and just ability to get through the 1841 recession.

Gary S:
It also I’m going to read from this book the story of John Fairfax published in 1941 this was the hundredth year of Fairfax Media, the company that your great, great grandfather started. His vision also led him over the fear of what it was like moving from England to Australia. I want to read just a couple of paragraphs from this book because it’s so compelling about where perseverance comes from and how to live it. The book says this as they approached the coast, this is John and his wife Sarah. “John saw the stark forbidding barrenness of the land. He felt a terrible despondency and a concern for Sarah and her sick baby and the fear he felt for the future weighed upon him. He stood alone on the spray swept deck with his arms folded, bracing himself against the lurch of the ship as she pounded onwards and looked out at the sterile hope shattering strip of coastline that was the Southern border of his future homeland.”

Gary S:
“He thought of the responsibility, which was his of providing for a wife, a mother, and four children, and he thought of the 12 sovereigns, just 12 sovereigns which stood between them and starvation. He bowed his head and fear like ice stole over his heart better surely to have remained poor in Leamington than to starve in that sandy soulless wilderness.” Then this happens. “He felt a touch and a hand stole into his.”

Gary S:
“It was Sarah. She looked pale and ill and she staggered in her weakness as the ship plunged and shook”. This is a quote that I’ve seen you use before Warwick, but this is what Sarah John’s wife said to him, “Do not worry about me or the children. I will be brave and helpful and whatever God may send or may take away my love for you is the strongest thing I have in life and it will have no death. I do not worry about you. I know what you can do and it is much. I know your strength of purpose, your sound vigorous brain and your sense of honor. You are well armed John for any fray and you will win and I will win not only success but content and great happiness.” One of the aspects of perseverance for him was the support of his wife.

Warwick F:
Absolutely. It’s really quite remarkable as they were headed to Australia in the late 1830s it’s a four to six month voyage, they had young kids, one was very ill and sadly died soon after they made it to Sydney and she was not doing well, John was on the deck of this ship, they were looking as they were headed past West Australia, south, they looked at the barren wasteland and it just looked forbidding. It just looked like a terrible place. What are they doing? Yet she sensed it. She came up and just gave him this such love and unconditional support that having family and friends who are for us no matter what, that’s also one of the keys to perseverance.

Warwick F:
People that believe in you. There aren’t too many people that have achieved great things, men or women that don’t have a spouse, family or friends that were for them. There might be one or two, but it’s so much easier when you have people that believe in you that can keep you going just that one more step. He did in Sarah, a woman of great faith and she believed in him and believe in the vision that they were going to craft in this new colony of Australia.

Gary S:
That’s just one of the examples. You have some other examples from history of other, again, people that you have heard of and people that you haven’t heard of necessarily but there are people throughout history as we said at the outset to become a quote unquote great man or woman, a woman who’s left a mark on society of significance. You have had to exhibit persistence. True?

Warwick F:
Absolutely. I think of another one when I think of great leaders in history who had perseverance. I think of Winston Churchill, he was somebody that he made mistakes. He tended to challenge leadership, which leadership doesn’t tend to like I’m afraid. Sometimes he was on the right side of history and sometimes not. But in the early thirties I think it was Stanley Baldwin was prime minister he challenged him maybe one too many times and he was back on the backbenches. In other words, he wasn’t in the Cabinet, he was in the wastelands so to speak of politics. The thirties are called wilderness years for Churchill. During that time from somewhere around about 33 on, Adolf Hitler started rising to power in Germany and Winston Churchill could see the danger, could see that if we don’t do something, things are going to get so much worse.

Warwick F:
He kept almost like a voice in the wilderness, like a Don Quixote saying, you got to watch this guy. They said, well, there’s old Winston. He was old even at the thirties, warmongering running around, shaking his fist at windmills. Just ignore him. It’s hard to ignore because he’s eloquent and bombastic, but let’s do our best it’ll all go away. Basically they were saying, let’s hide under the covers and maybe everything will just solve itself. But yet he never gave up. He kept speaking and trying to warn the nation, indeed the world about the dangers of Adolf Hitler but many didn’t listen. Gradually things started turning when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and it’s like, maybe Winston was right and then he invaded Poland, then in September 1939 World War II started and eventually the miraculous happened and he became prime minister and that’s where his perseverance came to the fore, some of the greatest speeches in the English speaking language occurred during those years.

Warwick F:
Just after he took power in May 1940, he gave this speech to parliament, which has these famous phrases, “I have nothing to offer, but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” He said in the same speech, “Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be. For without victory, there is no survival.” At that point it was really, it was before the US got in the war in December 1941, it was in 1940 those were dark years. It felt like Britain and the Commonwealth against all of the might of Germany. Then a few months later in 1940 he gave this famous speech. He said, “We shall not flag or fail. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans…”

Warwick F:
“We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the field and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.” That sense of belief that they would prevail when it didn’t look so good at the time the sense of perseverance and if you bring it back to, well how can we relate to this, but what was his why for the sake of what? Well, it was for the sake of the preservation of Britain as a free country and not being slaves to Nazi terror and the horrors of what the Nazi regime brought to the countries in Europe that they conquered. It was just this belief that we will find a way.

Warwick F:
Somehow they did. They found a way in the Battle of Britain to hold off the mighty Luftwaffe with the RAF. It was grim but that sense of perseverance being completely focused on the task at hand. He never let resentment or grudges hold him back. He just threw them off. He didn’t have time for that kind of stuff, and so he didn’t. He was totally focused on his goal, which is preserving his nation. That was a very compelling vision and he was able to inspire a nation like few others ever have. You heard Winston Churchill speak, it’s like you know what Winston thinks we’re going to do this. We’re going to find a way. We’ll find a way to survive. Just one more day, one more day of freedom in this particular case.

Gary S:
Now, I can imagine there are listeners right now who have just heard the story of John Fairfax, your great, great grandfather and Winston Churchill, two men who left pretty big legacies. Winston Churchill, as you pointed out, saved Britain, may have saved civilization in some sense as we know it. Your great, great grandfather created this media dynasty that lasted five generations and created deeper legacies of faith and character that are now in their sixth generation with your children and there may be people who hear that and go, my goodness, I can’t be a John Fairfax and I can’t be a Winston Churchill. I don’t know that I can do that. But that’s not the point. Perseverance leading to significance does not have to be that grand, does it?

Warwick F:
No. I can think of an example in my own life. As listeners will know from a prior podcast, after my $2.25 billion takeover failed and ultimately failed in late 1990 company went bankrupt. I felt responsible, certainly significantly responsible for the company falling out of family hands. It was a crushing blow. I tried to find work, but it’s hard when you got a resume that says out of work media mogul. I tried to persuade people look, I’m humble, I work hard. It’s like, right, forget it. I was desperate and it’s just sometimes the smallest, most insignificant steps, one of the things about perseverance is you’ve got to park your desire to not do things that are beneath you, you’ve got to be willing to do anything basically. One of the things I did is I went to some temp agency that found temporary positions for accountants and financial analysts.

Warwick F:
Well, a number of years before I’d worked on Wall Street and I knew I could do financial analysis and say, okay, great, well we have this little program that will test your understanding of spreadsheets on Excel. At the time I was actually pretty good. It was like, you scored well, you actually know how to do spreadsheets. I guess I do. I ended up having a temporary job at some sports company actually was a pretty big sports manufacturer. It just had an office in Maryland and I did some budgeting work and I seemed to do that okay. The same temp agency said, well, you’ve got good reviews from that employer. We’ve got another temporary position at a local aviation services company doing financial analysis. That temporary position at that company in Maryland turned into a permanent position where I worked for about six years.

Warwick F:
Then from there I went to coaching and moved on, but it was just taking one step. Okay. It feels a bit humiliating as a Harvard MBA to go to some temp agency that are looking for, paying in a minimal hourly wages for some financial analyst thing and I have a Harvard MBA. People in my class are working their way up to be vice president somewhere. But that was just one small step on the journey. I didn’t know where that was going to lead and that’s one of the other secrets of perseverance is I didn’t know that from this temp job at a sports company to an aviation services company to coaching, to writing a book on my experiences, leadership and now Crucible Leadership, I had no idea that was going to end up there.

Warwick F:
How could I possibly know? But just be willing to take that next step. It seemed logical at the time and don’t be too proud. If you feel like this is what you need to do, then do it. That’s a really small baby step to go to a temp agency and say, do you have anything for me? That’s not a big vision. It wasn’t really for me financial survival, it was more emotional survival. I have to do something to feel like I can contribute in some positive way using my skills and I’ve got to be able to get out of bed and do something constructive. That was a baby step. Just take a baby step. It doesn’t have to be saving Britain or a big newspaper from calamity. It can be just, what’s one thing I can do to help me and my family today?

Gary S:
That is an excellent place for us to drop the landing gear and begin to land the plane. I want to leave folks with one more quote I’ve found, which this one surprised me. This is from Albert Einstein. Albert Einstein said this, it’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Your story makes me think of that Warwick, it took you a little while to find your vision to find your footing and move beyond that crucible experience but now you are living a thriving life of significance. You stayed with your problems longer. You worked at those very things that you’ve encouraged listeners to do. I promised that I was going to end us with persistence tips from top business magazines. Some takeaway for you, listener, as you’ve heard this discussion about perseverance, what are some practical steps you could take?

Gary S:
We’ve already touched on one to remember your why, what’s your vision? It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be focused on helping others. That’s really what significance is found in helping others. If you’re stuck in a place and you feel like you can’t go on and you need to muster perseverance, remember your why Success Magazine suggests that one. Another one, and Warwick, you’ve exhibited this from the moment I met you. Forbes included this in their list of tips for having persistence in the wake of trials. Have a sense of humor. How important is a sense of humor when you’re talking about perseverance?

Warwick F:
It is. You’ve got to be willing to, I take life pretty seriously, but you got to be willing to laugh at yourself and your own foibles and it’s funny I do take life pretty seriously I have to confess, but you’ve got to be able to have a sense of humor in the process and really a sense of hope. Absolutely. I’m pondering this as Albert Einstein talked about, his work ethic, there’s a lot of things in life we can’t control, but we can choose to get out of bed we can choose to keep at it, to not give up, to keep finding a way. I like to think I’m as fearful as the next person. Maybe some people don’t have fear.

Warwick F:
Well, I’m a pretty fearful person. I have a vivid imagination about what can happen and what can go wrong. I’m a strategic planner. I get that, but it’s like, okay, I will not be conquered by fear. I will remember the why remember for the sake of what I’m doing it and have hope. That’s really the key and another one when we’re thinking about perseverance and significance is be open to things, opportunities that come our way. Be open to subtle shifts. One example that people know from the past, in about 12 years ago now, in 2008 the pastor of my church wanted me to give a message of what I’ve been through and somehow related to David who is a righteous person, falsely persecuted while that wasn’t me, I thought, okay, fine, I can give my story somehow even though I’m not a natural public speaker.

Warwick F:
Somehow that story provided hope as I was able to share what I went through and maybe some things that helped me get through it, that was okay. While I’m not necessarily a natural speaker, somehow my story connected. That’s what led to me working on a book on my experiences and ultimately to Crucible Leadership. When things happen in your life, pay attention and say, okay listen, this went well, why did it go well? What does that mean? Maybe I need to make a subtle shift in direction. Keep moving forward and be open to the subtle shifts that will maybe ultimately take you to your vision and to that life of significance. You may not see exactly where it’s all headed, but you sense, I think this is the good next step I’m sensing this is positive. Embrace hope, reject fear and listen for the subtle shifts that will take you to a life of significance.

Gary S:
Believe it or not, you did it again of the three things I was going to talk about, you mentioned the first one before I talked about it, I did get in the sense of humor idea from forest, but what you just said summarizes perfectly what Inc Magazine said about perseverance and that is to recall your past persistence. To recall the incidents in your past where perseverance has worked out. Where you’ve put one foot in front of the other and you just mentioned it Warwick, aviation services company and that led to you know, the speech to the church which led to the book which led to the Crucible Leadership. Those things become building blocks of perseverance that allow you to continue to pursue your vision toward a life of significance.

Warwick F:
One baby step of success gives you a bit of motivation to go the next step and it doesn’t have to be a big win. Just a little baby win or a little step, little positive step, okay, let’s keep going. That’s moving forward, reject fear, embrace hope and it’s for the sake of what? What’s the why? What’s the vision? What’s the life significance? Those are all keys to having perseverance.

Gary S:
That sound you heard listener was the captain turning on the fasten seatbelt sign. Warwick is going to get the last word because that was a great place to land the plane. We want to thank you Warwick and I want to thank you for joining us on Beyond the Crucible and if you found this discussion insightful and helpful as you pursue your own life of significance, we have a favor to ask that will help us help more people like you who are seeking a way to move beyond their crucible experiences and to find the perseverance to do so. Here it is. Please subscribe to Beyond the Crucible on the app you’re listening to it on right now. If you do so, it will allow you to make sure you do not miss an episode and it will make it easier for others to find us, listen to us and share the podcast with their friends and coworkers.

Gary S:
If you’ve heard something on this podcast that you’d like to learn more about, we encourage you to visit us on the web at crucibleleadership.com. One of the things that you can do there is read Warwick’s blog, sign up for emails to receive Warwick’s regular blogs where he writes about the very subjects we talked about here today. You can also take a free short assessment that will help you discover where you are on the path, on the continuum to your life of significance. What is the areas that you can work on in your life as you’re moving from crucible to significance? Where are you at in that journey, and what are some resources that we can offer to help you along the way? Until next time, please remember that yes, crucible experiences are painful and difficult, but they’re not the end of your story. In fact, they can be the beginning of a new story, a new chapter in your story that can be the most exciting and joyous one of your life because it’s a path and a chapter that leads to a life of significance.

Leave a Comment