Today’s post isn’t going to be about brand management, marketing, advertising, PR, or best practices for social media programs. In fact, this post isn’t going to be about any of the things I usually talk about on this blog. I won’t give you any advice, share any professional insights or teach you how to do anything that will enhance your campaigns or make your companies kick ass. Today, I just want to lend a helping hand to a few people in my life who have fallen on hard, if not slightly dark and scary times. Some of these friends are people I have known for a long time. Others are people I have come to know through Twitter, Facebook, or this blog. More still may be people I haven’t met yet, but will thanks to this post.
All of these folks have something in common: They have had a shitty week. One found out she has a rare health condition that could change her whole life. Another buried her sister. A third lost a job he absolutely lived for. A fourth is heartbroken. A fifth lost hope, which is just about one of the worst things that can happen to a human soul.
I could sit here and wax philosophical about ups and downs, cycles being mere moments in time, about the need for patience and courage and even perseverance, about the fact that as humans, we fall on our faces sometimes, we screw up, bad things just happen out of the blue and for no apparent reason, but you know how long-winded I can get. So instead, here is a collection of insights from people far smarter and wiser than me, that will hopefully bring some solace, if not comfort, to anyone having a really horrible week:
What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
- T. S. Eliot
Discontent is the first necessity of progress.
- Thomas Edison
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
- Japanese Proverb
If we screw it up, start over. Try something else.
- Lee Iacocca
Failure does not exist. Failure is simply someone else’s opinion of how a certain act should have been completed. Once you believe that no act must be performed in any specific other-directed way, then failing becomes impossible.
- Wayne Dyer
Celebrate endings – for they precede new beginnings.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
- Nelson Mandela
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.
- Helen Keller
If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.
- Dolly Parton
To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.
- Theodore H. White
This thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.
- Mary Pickford
Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
- Raymond Lindquist
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill
The starting point of all achievement is desire.
- Napoleon Hill
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
- Anne Frank
Let me end this post with a quick anecdote. Yesterday, an old friend posted this to his Facebook page from his cell phone:
if I had not pulled the woman back onto the sidewalk just now, she would no doubt be dead.
holy shit. really.
Which, of course was followed by this:
what if I had gone to lunch at a normal time instead of 2pm? what if I had been texting? what if I had decided to go to subway instead of lamazou for lunch?
Life is a pretty wild little adventure. You get beaten to a pulp sometimes. Other times, you’re ready to take on the world. Truth is, very little of it is really ever under your control. You do the best you can. Sometimes things work out, sometimes things don’t. But in spite of all the success and failure, in spite of the great moments and the horrible ones, everyone gets to save the world in some way at pretty regular intervals. We impact each other’s lives every single day. The butterfly effect is still real and relevant, perhaps more so today with human beings becoming ever more connected through technology and social platforms. We all share each other’s wins and losses. We all participate in each other’s lives. We can help each other better, faster, longer, and across vast distances.
If today sucks, if it is the hardest day you’ve ever had to endure in your entire life, hang in there. Someone’s life might depend on it tomorrow or next week. Your next tweet or blog post could change someone’s life. Your next idea could revolutionize an industry. Your next walk to Lamazou (or Subway) for lunch could save someone’s life.
Hang in there. It’s important that you do.