Sometimes life can feel like the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, in which Murray lives the same day over and over again. No matter what he does he cannot seem to get out of this repeating time loop. Sometimes our identity is like this.
Like any good Christmas movie, Die Hard ends on a festive musical note – the yuletide favorite “Let it Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Along the way, cinematic flourishes associated with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year abound: a big holiday office party, family traveling to join each other to celebrate, characters wearing Santa hats and other clothing that spotlights the season, plastic explosives blowing off the top of a newly built skyscraper.
The experiences and travails during my days at John Fairfax Ltd. have affected me in many ways. They have affected my view of myself, my view of vision, and my understanding of what it takes to make vision a reality. They have also affected how I help others.
We live in a very divided world. In fact some would say that our times are as divided as they have been in years, even decades. Here in the U.S. we have recently had a divisive election that led those unhappy with the result to storm the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Maybe you think of your favorite Christmas TV specials as inspiring, celebratory fare that set the tone for the season. That’s certainly true – but so is the fact that just about every Yuletide classic we tune in to this time of year features about as many crucible moments as it does presents under the tree.
We live in an almost unprecedented time of stress and anxiety with the global pandemic of the coronavirus. We don’t know how long this crisis will last, when there will be approved safe remedies to treat the virus or still less when there will be an approved vaccine. Many have been furloughed from work, unsure how long their businesses will be able to survive and how long they will have jobs, assuming they still have jobs.
You may have been through a crucible experience, a gut-wrenching, even humiliating experience. It may be a business or professional failure, or it may be a health or family challenge. Whatever it is, the course of your life has forever been changed. You have faced the fork in the road: whether to wallow in the pain of your crucible experience or to try to move beyond it. You have chosen to move ahead.
A crucible is a cauldron where metals are thrown together and heated to very high temperatures. The metals combine to form an alloy, something that is different than it was before. A crucible experience is one that is life-altering. Who you are after your crucible experience is different than you were before. You are never the same.