“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass . . . It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (Vivian Greene). The year 2020 has been a storm for many people. A year that many people had anticipated for years turned to be one of the worst nightmares with people being told to stay home in order to stay alive. Covid-19 came to an economy where many businesses had already been struggling, hence it worsened the situation. It will take years for some business to become normal, yet I today I come with a message that we need to walk through the storm.
We all go through storms in our personal lives, our businesses, our careers, and those who are married, might also go through storms in their marriages. There are many businesses that are going the storm and even facing the brink of collapse. Sometimes you might be going through this despite the fact that you are doing the best that you can.
I do not know which storm you might be facing, maybe your company may be facing insolvency or creditors are on your doorstep. The cases are too many to mention, but the reality is that there are storms. I want to talk to that person who is going through such a phase, and want to tell to tell to walk through the storm.
Storms are real and essential
Storms do take place in life, but do not let them immobilise you. These times are not easy, but rudimentary to our personal and professional development. They will not destroy you, but they will expose, and introduce you to the real you. Greatness comes through great trials.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.” (Arthur Golden).
Do not let the storms of life drown you, capitalise on them and let them propel you higher. Champions are borne in times of crisis. They are actually born for the crisis. They challenge their challenges, and make history. They refuse to give in, and they commit not to give up.
The only way through the storm is to go through it. Challenges might tempt you to stop and give up on whatever that you are doing. Being stationary is not going to stop the storm, and neither is complaining about it going to do any wonders. Keep moving. It does not mean it’s easy, but it is necessary for you to continue moving. Harness the courage to keep moving.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once remarked that, “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
“Don’t pull over”
A lady was driving along with her father. They came upon a storm, and the young lady asked her father, What should I do?”
He said “keep driving”. . .
Cars began to pull over to the side, the storm was getting worse.
“What should I do.”
The young lady asked?
“Keep driving,” her father replied.
On up a few feet, she noticed that eighteen wheelers were also pulling over.
She told her dad, “I must pull over, I can barely see ahead. It is terrible, and everyone is pulling over!”
Her father told her, “Don’t give up, just keep driving !”
Now the storm was terrible, but she never stopped driving, and soon she could see a little more clearly. After a couple of kilometres she was again on dry land, and the sun came out.
Her father said, “Now you can pull over and get out.”
She said “But why now?”
He said “When you get out, look back at all the people that gave up and are still in the storm, because you never gave up, your storm is now over.
This is a testimony for anyone who is going through “hard times”.
Just because everyone else, even the strongest, gives up, you don’t have to. If you keep going, soon your storm will be over and the sun will shine upon your face again and be radiant.
Maintain the focus
Distraction comes in the midst of a storm. Everything is rearranged, the panic mode often switched on swiftly. Do not be distracted by what you are going through, focus on where you are going. Do not remove the eyes from the ball.
Doe Zantamata sums up this principle in a profound way, “When passing through the storms of life, please remember: 1. It could be worse. 2. It will get better. Stay strong, focus on what you can do, not what you cannot, and know that the clouds will soon part, and the sun will return again.”
Greatness is not without its share of challenges. Champions overcome obstacles and their names are recorded on the sands of time.
Every storm has an assignment
This might be difficult to understand and grasp especially when you look at the intensity of the pain that you might go through. Every storm that you go through will leave you a better person. Discover the purpose of the storm you are going through in life. Haruki Murakami aptly puts the principle across, “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
“It is well with my soul” — The story behind the song
Many people know the song, “It is well with my soul”. For most people the thought that comes to mind is that someone had reached the apex of his life and was thanking God for all the achievements. This is not so. It was a song that was borne from deep crisis.
Horratio Gates Spafford, the person who authored this song was a successful lawyer who had established his law firm in Chicago. He made several investments in real estate. For long he had also been praying for a baby boy. The request was granted.
In a sudden turn of things in his life, the real estate was destroyed in a great fire which swept across Chicago in October of 1871. The properties were destroyed. The same applied to the law firm that he had established. His son also got sick and died. He thought that he and his family needed to get some time to sit down, rest and refresh in a different environment. To this end he sent his wife and daughters to England. He was to follow them later due to a business commitment that had just arisen. On the trip to England, on November 22, 1873 the ship got shipwrecked, all his daughters died in the accident. Spafford’s wife was the only person who survived the accident. Upon arrival in England, she sent a message to Spafford saying, “Saved alone. What shall I do. . .?”
This was very disturbing to Spafford. He then set out to go to England. He passed through the spot on which the accident had taken place.
Upon looking at the scene, the words came to him, “When tears like a river attended my way, when sorrows like sea billows rows, whatever my lot thou has taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.”
The song has provided great healing to a lot of people throughout the world. It has also been translated into different languages throughout the world.
The song that was written in the 1870s is still fresh and alive today. There are several songs that were written many years after this song but some of them have sunk into oblivion. The songs that come from real life experiences will never fade.
The pain that you go through can be a source of healing for many people who will go through difficult times.
It might be difficult to imagine how you would make it through but God will see you through the times. We are products of the storms that other people went through. Marconi had to be committed into a psychiatric ward for us to have the radio, Walt Disney had to be declared insolvent several times and turned down by banks for us to have the Disney World today, William Tyndale even had to be killed (by burning on the stake) in 1536 on allegations of heresy in order for us to have the modern English bible today. Examples are many. Hold on to the faith, never give up.
Never stop believing. Your breakthrough is on the way. Like Horratio Spafford Gates, you need to remain positive and even declare that, “It is well with my soul”. From great tests, great testimonies ensue.
Your story can provide healing to other people.
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote and peak performance speaker, business strategy facilitator commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, sales, business leadership and strategy. Arthur is the author of the “Personal Development Toolkit”, “Keys to Effective Time Management” among other inspirational books. Follow him on social media, or WhatsApp him on +263718867255 or email [email protected]