How can we build strategy through adversity?

Mar 02, 2021

I keep hearing this last line of our intro as I dive into writing this first post.  "You’re not alone in all of this…"

I think one of the most challenging things about the last twelve months is that we have all faced crisis, trial, and uncertainty at the same time. Navigating life’s obstacles is a guaranteed function of being human, but usually, we sort of collectively rotate through these challenges, providing margins for those of us who are in stronger seasons to step in and support those currently in more challenging ones.  With that, over the last year, I have seen the wide-spread desperation, the grasping at hope, the despair that finally escapes controlled lips.  I’ve experienced it myself, in flashes and waves.  I’ve seen it in my children as they battle their own disengagement and overwhelm.  I’ve heard it in the cracking voices of friends and loved ones.  

So what can we do?  

In March 2020, after being laid off, due to the pandemic, I asked myself this same question.  What can I do?  How can I help? How do we provide something more than the kind sentiments of, “keep your chin up” and “it will pass”.  What tactics and tools can I create for others who are facing crushing hardship?  If the trials of life are a certainty, and they have very real, measurable consequences to our ability to function and work, then how do we build strategy and real resilience to move through this adversity?  What has worked for me?

I came up with a plan.

In the Spring of 2020, I curated a curriculum aimed at answering this very question.  I ran rounds of beta through Spring and Summer and officially launched The Flourish Masterclass in the Fall. 

The first step in our process is to shift our perspective of hardship.  We learn to understand and believe that the very obstacles we are facing right now, can be the exact catalysts to our growth.  Second, we must embrace our own agency. I lived for 36 years without understanding that I not only had the ability to chart my own way but I was also supposed to and capable of doing so!  Third, we begin to imagine forward.  We enlist the principles of strategic foresight, put pen to paper, through a structured framework, and brick by brick, build the life we want, despite (and sometimes with the help of) the setbacks.  

From there, we acknowledge that we are only as healthy as the least healthy bucket of our lives.  So we at Flourish spend several weeks, seeking to increase holistic health in each of these main buckets - our mindset, our systems, our livelihood, the connection we have with others, and finally, the pursuit of equilibrium in our physical health. 

As the Founder of Flourish, in true transparency, I am constantly asking myself, is this enough?  Are these early iterations good enough to aid in the global impact of the pandemic?  How can our team continually get better, make more of an impact, resonate more, be more helpful, and produce more growth?  It’s tempting to let my mind slip into, oh yes, this is indeed working for people, …and yet... there is still so much to do.  

I remind myself that to begin is how we initiate change and these first iterations are a very necessary step.  Despite its newness, our process has proven measurably impactful to our clients time and again.  We’ve seen the growth in their lives.  The language and tools we provide enable them to chart a new course and overcome the adversity they face.  Jamie, a student at Vanguard said, "Honestly, you both are so practical and crazy on fire with fresh, creative, incredible ideas that NEED to be shared!  It is changing education, and it's EXTRAORDINARY”.  Another client, Kjersten, responded, “This masterclass woke me up to new possibilities again!  You can change course, stretch beyond your status quo, and live a full life that includes new ideas and goals.  The Flourish class gave me the tools I needed to take responsibility and action to move forward toward my dreams.”

So on we go, day by day and client by client, inviting you into the journey, passing along what has worked for us, and reminding you, you are not alone in this.

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