Usually when I'm thinking of summer in August, I imagine an overly hot and humid month that I just need to survive somehow. Workouts during this month are nothing short of an absolute torture. Luckily two years ago I moved to Dublin and unlike my previous experience, summer time and August in particular were amazing.
During the last weekend I hiked in the Wicklow mountains, and let’s just say that the lashing rain, intense wind and walking through a cloud were not exactly what I had in mind. After surging this encounter with Thor, I realized that I can see Three main resemblance between challenging times at work and facing this kind of weather, at an unexpected time:
1. "It’s not what I signed up for" We all love to succeed and have a great feeling of achievement when we execute our plans seamlessly. However, aspirations and reality don’t always align.
When I decided to join this hike, I checked the weather and it all seemed ok. However, two hours into the hike I found myself in the middle of nature concentrating and trying not to fall due to the slippery roads and bog. During that moment I was annoyed and bitter, and all I could think about was “I did NOT sign up for this!”. I thought it’s going to be a fun day. What a nightmare.
I found myself constantly complaining in my head. Later I realized that sometimes when things don’t go the way I want them to at work, that’s my first reaction: being annoyed with everything that's not going according to plan.
2. Just keep on going
After a few minutes of renting, I realize that this state of mind just makes me weaker and instead I should try to embrace a different approach.
In long distance running the golden rule is just to keep on moving. Even if you don’t see it, you are progressing.
And besides, what help would it do to stay on the mountain with the rain and wind?
At work, it’s hard sometimes to find the motivation to keep on pushing, especially when the “finish line” of the challenging time is not clear. However, what is the alternative? staying on the mountain in the cold? I try to remind myself that the rain and wind don’t last forever. Just keep on moving.
3. A different perspective is the key
Since I try to keep in motion the view changes as I progress, allowing space for new thoughts and perspectives. While the rain was hurting my eyes and I was walking literally through a cloud I thought to myself that at least I still have my resilience despite the fact that I don’t train for any ultra race at the moment. It's always there even when I don't use it.
In work I try to embrace the same approach when things are hard- How can I look at things and what new point of view can I bring to the table? How can I be more agile and innovative in solving this?
Looking forward here are my 2 cents
When you feel out of your element (and sometimes the elements of nature are also not at their best) and nothing is as expected, it can also lead to new realizations and opportunities you never considered or able to see. And this way or the other: this too shall pass.