“I have marveled often at the thin line that divides success from failure and the sudden turn that leads from apparently certain disaster to comparative safety.”
Sir Ernest Shackleton
A friend who owns an accounting business told me about one of his clients. Every year at tax time they would have the same conversation. The man would complain that he could be making a lot more money with a lot less hassle if he just got a job doing the same thing he was doing with his company. And every year he seemed a little more burned out and exhausted.
In the 28th year, the conversation changed. The man had just sold his business for more money than he’d made in the previous 27 years put together.
That’s the hero’s journey. That’s life.
In football it’s called the red zone. In a marathon it’s called the wall. In extreme mountain climbing it’s called the death zone.
The closer you are to the finish line, the harder the work is going to be. And the more exhausted you will be. That’s when you’ll be most tempted to quit – when you’re almost there.
There is one important difference between sports and life. In football you can see the goal line, and a marathon you can see the finish line. In life, you don’t have that luxury. All you do know is that you’re exhausted, but if you quit you go back to the start.
Today, as we head into the third year of the pandemic and its collateral craziness, many of us are burned out and exhausted.
Before you quit, talk to a friend. Talk to a mentor, a coach, or a counselor. Talk to your accountant. Talk to yourself.
Chances are you are a lot closer than you think you are.
AONL Conference Next Week
If you’re planning to be at the annual conference of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership next week, stop by the exhibit hall. The first thing you will see is the podium pictured below welcoming you to our Values Pavilion. While our supply lasts, we’ll be giving visitors a 60-page preview of my forthcoming book Proceed Until Apprehended: Leadership for What Matters.