Adversity does not build character, it reveals it." James Lane Allen
This quote is almost 100 years old and yet its relevance today is as true as ever. We all face adversity in our lives and the past two years I have watched as someone I care deeply for has shown their strength of character. Not that it was planned at all!
This man has been a loyal friend, a positive influencer, respectful co-worker and what most of us would call a 'good person', living with integrity and kindness. A devastating cancer diagnosis suddenly changed his life and he ultimately had to retire from a career he loved and refocus his days on surviving and thriving. He has faced serious challenges with treatments, mobility and communication. Through it all he has remained a steadfast loyal friend, a positive influencer, a respectful co-worker (even in retirement) and a good person ... still living with integrity and kindness. So I got to wondering how that happened and this quote landed on my desk.
Watching the evolution of his illness and recovery I realized that while the adversity had changed him physically, emotionally and psychologically, it hadn't touched the core of who he is: his character. Definitions of the word "Character" include 'distinctive qualities', 'mental and ethical traits', 'essential nature', etc. All great words to explain what we all see or feel when we spend a little time with others. What I learned from this experience was that while the health problems seemed on some levels to change who this man was, they had not eroded his character; his way of being in the world.
In my work with individuals and organizations I talk about the Creator within (from the TED*/3VQ work); the part of us that helps guide our way of relating to others. In every instance, as people dig deeper into what I am reminded of is their character, they discover a profound sense of wellbeing and certainty. This is the powerful fuel that builds bridges between colleagues, friends and family. This is what makes us work that much harder to create a safe, inviting workplace. This is what keeps us going through adversity.
Ms. Daryl Wood is a Certified Coach and TED*/3VQ Practitioner dedicated to sharing The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*) with organizations who understand that healthy relationships are critical to their success. She also coaches individuals to live with integrity and resilience. Visit www.darylwood.com and www.therespectfulworkplace.ca
"A ship in harbour is safe, but that's not what ships were built for." John Shedd
Sometimes I feel like I'm a ship in harbour, waiting for directions to my next destination. I see so many possibilities that I am sometimes overwhelmed and reluctant to make a choice. So I sit still in my harbour.
The world is full of endless opportunities to learn, to engage, to teach, to explore. We are all well equipped to take on new challenges no matter where we are in life. While there is nothing wrong with a good, healthy pause to process and reflect, I know how easy it is to stay in port. We keep searching the sky, the water and the horizon to see if the path we are considering is safe. We think about the pros and cons of our next adventure. We get advice from others about how they have navigated their vessels. And in the end, it really comes down to us choosing whether we want to play safe or not.
There is nothing wrong with choosing to stay put. I've done that many times. And I also know that we each carry a burning torch within that says there is something intriguing about risk; something compelling about taking chances with our destiny. Each time I announce a new event I put myself out into the world to see if what I'm offering is a good fit. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I learn.
My ship has spent more than enough time in harbour being safe from criticism, judgement and rejection. I know for certain that out there in the vast sea that calls to me there is also acknowledgment, support and hungry searchers who want just the part of me that is willing to dare.
Ms. Daryl Wood is a Certified Coach and TED*/3VQ Practitioner dedicated to sharing The Empowerment Dyanmic (TED*) with organizations who understand that healthy relationships are critical to their success. She is leading a public workshop for individuals called I've Got This! Creating Extraordinary Relationships in Cambridge Ontario March 23/24, 2019. Visit www.darylwood.com and www.stopworkplacedrama.ca