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 larger opportunity)?
Have you heard of the book entitled “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 – over 20 million copies in total — ensuring it will appear on the list of "classics" of children’s literature for years to come. 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 experienced tragedy in his own life; his wife gave birth to two still-born children. Having children myself, I cannot imagine the pain they must have felt. The story started in Robert’s head as a way of singing to his children that had died, 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.”
A lot of 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. 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, find healing.
We will all go through times when things are not very good in our lives. Perhaps we will even experience tragic events, such as the loss of Robert’s two children. I encourage you today, no matter what challenges you are facing professionally or personally, to find some meaning or sense to it all. Use your ability to learn, grow, and use this experience for the benefit of others and yourself.
If you need a hand along the way, we would be pleased to help. Visit us today at www.careerjoy.com.