I'm thinking about...
You only know yourself when you go beyond your limits. Paulo Coelho
(originally published on LinkedIn)
Through December our son completed his 21-day OutwardBound journey, which led me to reflect on my own 8-day OutwardBound journey - Discovery Masters, 2006. This was a journey I entered into at a critical point in my professional and life journey. Here is a pictorial of my rock climb - I was petrified and exhilarated simultaneously (the photos are not great quality, but I am so thankful someone picked up my disposable camera and captured this journey for me
In the first picture I am about a third of the way up the rock face. Clearly things are going well and probably better than I had expected. I'm obviously a "bit" excited!
But close to the end, I froze - see me below straddled and unable to move. I was tired and from my vantage point I couldn't see the summit's closeness! It's so clear in the picture that I am really close to the top, but at the time I couldn't see it. I remember this well – how I felt & what I yelled. I said, "It’s been fun up ‘til now, I’d like to come down now!” Afterwards, my instructor said he would put it down as one of his favourite quotes and I recorded it in my journal :-) Thankfully, with some encouragement & time to recoup I made it to the summit. This was my pivotal point, where I discovered there was far more in me than I imagined.
Then, I am at the summit (picture below) - but the conquered rock face is more visible than me. You can barely see me, though to this day I can feel the sense of excitement & accomplishment.
As I reflected I saw many analogies to strategy and my professional journey, so I thought I'd share some of my take homes:
My son climbed the same rock face - twice.
Once blindfolded and then one-handed. WOW!
I could not be more proud of him.
Final reflections: enjoy your successes, but don't seek the glory and be ready to share what you learn. Rejoice when those you have mentored conquer the “rock face” quicker and better. That's the best legacy we can leave :-)
Here’s to a successful 2019!
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Nazanin Jenkin is a Persian Kiwi - a Persian by descent and a diaspora by circumstance. She lives in New Zealand; along with her husband of thirty years and two surviving, adult children.