*This is the continuation of a post I had started in September/October.
As I begin to wrap up the book, as mentioned earlier, Meta Leadership: How to See What Others Don’t and Make Great Decisions by Constance Dierickx, there is a point that I liked as it pertains to our thought process during tough times. I talked recently about staying away from the extremes. When things are good, they are great. However, getting back on track is difficult when things aren't going well.
The general theme of "paying attention to the raindrops" was initially presented as a business method to take little signs that we are on the right path forward. Maybe a few extra followers than expected to your newsletter, or even a spike in social media followers. No one wakes up a born business owner or has a team beneath them in kindergarten. At some point, we are doing something for the first time without previous experience to compare and contrast.
The metaphor goes something like this. A clear and defined goal is being worked toward when we start a venture. In this example, the goal is a successful outcome, a sign that we made it. It is usually a bit of a dream - the book uses a call from Oprah as an example. This would be a full-on rainstorm of evidence that we are on the right track and doing great things.
However, along the way, raindrops are bound to be signs of the storm to come. For example, this blog gave me ideas of what I want to see happen. I have since removed them entirely, with a defined goal now made into a broad goal to share what I can and spread positivity.
A Deeper Dive
We all have an idea of where we want to end up. The business metaphor is nice, but there is much to be said about how we can apply this to our daily lives. Sure, we can all want a Manhattan penthouse or to have a song written about us (me) by Taylor Swift (please). Business success can be fleeting, and much of what we fill voids with is temporary. All we are doing adds up to the ultimate goal of achieving happiness.
So, that is the rainstorm for me - unconditional, infectious happiness. Pour it on me. Instead of imagining a rainstorm for Airspace, I now perceive it as a raindrop - a small sign that I am moving in the right direction.
Now, think about both your professional and personal paths. Where do you see yourself in the culmination of your goals for both? It is essential to outline now, even if it changes later. Please pay attention to observing the raindrops and report them appropriately in the METAR. That was a corny joke to make a staple of this observation.
Not everything will go as planned. I fully admit that I am not in a great place, perhaps lower than ever. I have been putting myself back together over the past two years for those who don't know. Along the way, there were raindrops - joining a gym again, putting together a personal planner, and beginning to start over in Albany.
It was not until recently that I met someone I thought was my best raindrop yet. For the first time in years, I felt genuine hope. I proceeded cautiously but with a little more confidence each time. It took a lot to overcome that vulnerability and trust the person, and eventually, I believe I did.
But before I knew it, that came crashing down before my eyes, and now I'm crushed. For me, I have to be brutally honest. I believe what I'm feeling today is now a learned behavior that is officially out of my control. My life doesn't feel real. A dream of being unapologetically happy with someone does not seem achievable. That is a real possibility that I must begin living with.
At the same time, I will look for raindrops to give me even a glimmer of hope that I can somehow rebuild from this again. From there, I do not know. I'm not sure if I can do it, and I really mean that. But it must first start with a raindrop, and I must believe in the hope it stands for, that I will not be destroyed again.
I will acknowledge the few close people I have talked to, effectively performing their duties as raindrops, who will always be there to comfort and reassure me. Keeping the details redacted, they were as shocked and offended as I was and offered whatever help I may need. But what stood out was that they understood my past and knew it wouldn't be as easy as telling me to "hang in there." So, if there is one thing I have learned, I have people who care but, more importantly, understand me.
Anyway, I digress. After this, you may never look at a raindrop the same ever again. But, when you may need it the most, there it will be - right in front of you the entire time. A small win is the first step.