“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”–Thomas Paine
It might be a family relationship, or a challenging business deal. Perhaps you are an entrepreneur starting out and the hill goes up, up up — and up.
But the challenge is not isolated and dreary. It holds opportunity! What can you learn, how can you grow? How can you contribute to the world through what you are learning… or most importantly….
Help Someone Else.
In some of my most challenging moments, I am grateful during and after. I can see how much I can be a better person. Once I had to face a serious name change as an entrepreneur. It was not easy, nor the negotiations, nor the rebrand. It was very confusing, a lot of work, had funders up in arms, and seemed quite contentious.
Bit by bit with patient, firm communications, we came a to resolution — which took more than 8 months. A lot of patience.
But now! The opportunity! I can help others who face the same. Coach starting entrepreneurs — to be a kind sounding board. Sometimes you should keep it, and other times let it go. The important thing is to take a stand for principle, and get right back to following your company’s purpose.
A name is important, but it is not your service. Get back to serving people, whether you have created a new mobile app that saves you time, like one of my Berkeley students Hiroki Terashima newest creation OneAccess, or TotSquad, a service empowering working moms to keep their life together. Get back in there! 🙂
The author of this quote, Thomas Paine, knew challenge well. He was seventeenth century leader under a monarchy. He was the first person to help us define individualism which secured our rights. Paine defined the right to speak our thoughts, and develop our consciousness and views. He protected who we are as an individual which led to the United States’ eventual Bill of Rights.
I think that’s a pretty big challenge to have to overturn the prevailing thought. He even had to move to Amsterdam, fleeing England, to find likeminded people. And his work was rarely recognized — but highly used hundreds of years later.
Thomas Paine did it. Take a stand. So can you. Follow your calling, despite the challenges, and you will help others and yourself.
Go for it!
Thomas Paine was an English and American political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called “a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination”.
Born in Thetford, England, in the county of Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of Benjamin Franklin, arriving just in time to participate in the American Revolution. Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading of) his powerful pamphlet Common Sense (1776), the all-time best-selling American title which crystallized the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. His The American Crisis (1776–83) was a prorevolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”