The advantages of having experience often measured in decades is confidence. As hard, difficult, and at times impossible something might be, experience gives one the confidence to know it can be done. There is an interesting mix of awe, fear, uncertainty, and wonder which is mixed in with the confidence. The more one is aware of “why” one’s experience was what it was, the more one is both humbled and resiliently confidence that the impossible could be within reach.
As I reflect on the various “why” answers in my experience, there are common threads which one finds in each memory. They include the following.
People. I have never accomplished any activity on my own. Even running a marathon, as solo as an event can be, happens because of the individuals who were part of the journey getting there. Family, training partners, medical advisors, and even the volunteers who hung the medal around my neck played a role in what became my experience. When it came to business success, in each there was a unique cast of characters who formed the foundation to an even bigger team which made the impossible tangibly real.
Vision. I have never worked with a group of individuals to accomplish mission impossible without a sense of our shared vision. At times I had a hand in shaping it, but not always. The universal thread cam in our collective striving for something bigger and better than anything we could do on our own.
Commitment to each other and the vision we embraced. The picture formed in my mind of each experience is more than just people and vision. In the action with and for each other there is a common thread of commitment. This was never a weak thread. Commitment came with perseverance, discipline, endurance, sacrifice, and willingness to do more than one ever thought possible.
I look back and see a powerful force for good permeating and defining everyone involved. Divinity was active, transcending faith systems and ideologies, a living example of how “Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep.” (Psalm 121.4)