No template or checklist exists for moving beyond a crucible experience. The mixture of emotions, actions and mindset perspectives needed to overcome setbacks and failures is as unique from person to person as the nature of the setbacks and failures themselves.
Growing up in a 150-year-old family media business, my self-worth was inextricably tied to the family business and the family dynasty. I saw my role in life as carrying on the family business to the next generation, and to honor the legacy of my great-great-grandfather, John Fairfax, and my father, Sir Warwick Fairfax.
A miracle happened over the weekend in Australia. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison won what was called an unwinnable election. All the indications from the polls and the experts was that Scott Morrison was going to lose.
Who would argue that the abolition of the slave trade was not one of the most impactful events of the nineteenth century? British historian, G.M. Trevelyan said this was “one of the turning points in the history of the world.” William Wilberforce was the driving force behind this.
John Fairfax, my great-great-grandfather, is a perfect example of a man who did not let his crucible experience define him. Rather, his crucible experience was the springboard to bring his vision to life. It created an inflection point that changed the path of his life and the course of my family’s future.
I have found that when you use a crucible moment to help others, it can be very healing. When we take the focus off ourselves and try to use what we have been through to help others, it can make a huge difference in our spirit and our lives. Living such a life — using the pain of a crucible experience to help others — is what leading a life of significance is all about. But how do we get to a place where our experiences empower us rather than define us?