How does one recover from a difficult personal or professional phase and turn that experience into something that helps you grow (and even possibly, open up a much larger opportunity)?
You most likely have read the book, “I’ll Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. It is one of those must read books for children and parents alike. Last year alone, it sold almost 1 million copies & is on the list of “classics” of children’s literature. The book follows the relationship of a baby and his mom through the trying years of infancy, the toddler years, and the teen years, to the time when the child becomes an adult who, in turn, takes care of his dying mother.
Robert Munsch is a successful author who has experienced tragedy in his own life; his wife gave birth to two stillborn children. Having my own children, I cannot imagine the pain the Munsch family must have gone through. The poignant story started in Robert’s head as a way of singing to the children that he had lost, until one day, as he said; “It popped out, and, when I told the story to an audience, I had the best reaction that I had ever had to a story. I went backstage and broke down.“
Many people came up to him after the appearance and told him he needed to write the story down. His publisher, Annick Press, felt it was too dark of a concept for a children’s book. Instead of giving up, he took it to a small publisher called Firefly Books. The company loved it and promised to “go to town with the book.” Twenty-million copies later, Robert had proven to the world what a great decision that was.
Robert’s personal pain, in combination with his talents as a writer, had turned this story into one of the most inspiring books that I have read. What I admire about this author is his ability to listen to his audience (i.e. his market), to believe in the purpose of his story, and, even in the face of personal adversity, to find healing.
We will all go through times when things are not very good in our lives. I encourage you today, no matter what challenges you are facing professionally or personally, to find some meaning or sense in it all. Use your ability to learn, to grow, and use this experience for the benefit of others and yourself.
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