As I looked out of my apartment window in Sydney one afternoon an enormous black rain cloud moved in and enveloped the entire skyline. It was the blackest cloud I have ever seen and right at that moment I experienced several emotions, a sense of anxiousness combined with an overwhelming feeling of awe. On the 29th floor, outside my window was one of the scariest yet most beautiful sights I had ever seen.
I had just spent two weeks down south in sweltering heat of over 45 degrees. The drought had well and truly set in and yet right outside my window was the answer that people had been looking for. Although I couldn’t physically move the clouds down south, it made me think about the drought that sometimes happens in our own lives where although things seem impossible, often the answer is right there on the 29th floor waiting for us to reach out and take it.
2009 had not started well. My mother was put into hospital in Queensland and after a couple of months unexpectedly died. Family members lost everything in the Victorian bushfires, including friends. The economic downturn meant that we had to make some very important decisions about how we did business and this resulted in downsizing our business and I could go on. Suffice to say, it was a stressful time that resulted in many hours of reflection about why we do what we do.
Right in the middle of this challenging time I read a little quote that said, “it’s not about how you survive the storm, but how you dance in the rain”.
Of course, it’s so obvious, let things overwhelm you, or take control and dance in the rain. What I discovered was that the very things that were causing the stress were actually the very things that became my motivation to not only go on, but to be better than I was before. You see, the answer doesn’t come after the storm, the answer is right there in the middle of the storm; we just have to look for it.
Eight months on, life has never been so good. Our business has never been healthier and although I still miss my mum, I am grateful for what life throws at us, because life is our teacher if we are willing to learn.
Black clouds bring rain – will you focus on the clouds or celebrate the rain?
By Des Penny
CEO and Founder of Proteus Enterprises Pty Ltd