“Change is hard.”
“You’ve got to show up every day.”
“To learn new skills, you must to push through a period of incompetence.”
“Self-knowledge is hard-won.”
“True acts of leadership are rarely praised.”
“We only grow when we’re willing to let go of some of our most deeply held beliefs.”
“Sometimes you just have to compromise.”
I’m reminded of the time I spent in Indonesia nearly 20 years ago, and my going-in expectations about learning Bahasa Indonesia, the fifth language I had studied.
“I’m good at languages,” I thought, “so this shouldn’t be so hard.”
And then I remember the blindingly obvious observation I made about a week in: how, to speak this new language, I’d have to learn a new word for nearly every single thing on the planet: types of food, trees, animals, verbs, possessive…the list was endless.
As if there was going to be some way to skip those steps.
Just because we possess hard-won knowledge of what the path looks like from here to there, just because we’ve walked that path a few times before, does not mean it will be a breeze to walk the path this time. Far from it. It just means that we might walk it with a bit more perspective and perseverance, a dash more courage and determination.
Being in the trough, though, that valley in which we find ourselves face-to-face with an important compromise, feedback that cuts deep, or the recognition that, this time, the person who is set in his ways is us…
The question we’re faced with at that moment is the only one that matters: this time, are we going to be willing to do the hard work?