Welcome to the fifth part of my series on reinvention. If you have been following along, you know that I’m encouraging you to respond to changing circumstances in your personal and professional lives by being proactive, visionary, and confident that you can learn new tricks in order to move boldly into the next adventure in your life. You also know that I’m not only encouraging you to do, but I am doing the same. I’m actually preaching to the choir (director)!
My favorite movie is Rocky, and I have quoted the dialogue and themes many times over the years. Within the past couple of years a favorite excerpt has been the time when Rocky’s manager barks to him, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
I bring this up because a big part of the reinvention process is determination and sheer grit. How much can you take? How many times will you get back up after being knocked down? How many times will you look your nemesis in the eye and say “You ain’t so bad” (another Rocky reference from Rocky III)? If we are to reinvent ourselves and live the next chapter of our lives with joy and enthusiasm, we must sometimes fight our way through adversity, uncertainty, and the relentless blows to our confidence as we attempt to become something we’ve never been or a merely a newer, better version of who we are. This will take determination and grit, manifested just like in the Rocky movies. You know the scene. Rocky is getting beat up in the final fight of any of the movies by an opponent who seems unbeatable. It looks like he is done. Then the theme song starts to play and Rocky does the very thing he needs to do. He get mad. He digs into his grit and pulls out another win, another title, another championship.
One of my favorite popular writers is Bishop T.D. Jakes. He reminds us of something which Rocky demonstrates each time he enters that final fight – patience. Reinvention requires not only determination and grit, but also a tremendous amount of patience. Jakes reminds us, “Just because you have to wait for it doesn’t mean that it isn’t coming.” These are great words to remember in our reinvention process. We must be determined, patient, and take on every opponent with grit.
Bishop Jakes encourages us with these words, “I don’t care how old you are, what you’ve been through, or how many battles you feel like you’ve lost: It’s never too late to win the war. Repositioning [reinvention] will require you to rekindle the cold ashes of what was once your fiery passion. You will have to allow yourself to hope again.”
Reinvention Lesson #4: You must have determination, patience, and grit.
Go reinvent yourself and lead well.