Glass is solid, it is clean and clear and has a sense of beauty, but take a 12 x 12 sheet of glass and smash it (not really – figuratively) and it is broken never the same and likely lost all of its physical values. Our reaction is to then stress on the broken glass – clean it up so it does not do any more damage. “Clear the room, everyone out!” – “Get your shoes on!” – “Where are the animals? don’t let them in the kitchen!”
When glass breaks we panic. It never breaks the same way and we never react the same way. Glass is so fragile that almost anything can destroy it, and we will always react with anxiety and excitement.
By contrast, leather is soft, tough and resilient. Take that same 12 x 12 piece of leather and smash it 100 times and it absorbs the blow, it adapts and softens. The surprise ‘smashing’ does not bother it. In turn we do not panic and make everyone around us panic.
On a daily basis we have curves thrown at us, many that could create panic. We are not in control of the obstacles that come our way. We are in control of how we absorb the curves. Do you panic or do you react and get better at taking the blows?
Professionally I rely upon many people to get my job done and ‘things’ happen. Many out of our control. If I panic, they just get worse. If I absorb it, react, learn and proceed it gets better.
A mentor I had early in my career used to have these letters on her desk
Stop – Think – Don’t – React – Think – React it was explained this way:
When there is an obstacle you are facing STOP (don’t do anything) THINK (what are the options?) DON’T REACT (often the first reaction is the panic reaction and not always the best one) THINK (again) REACT
Be like leather and get stronger daily