“It’s always amazing how people are so willing to believe whatever it is that keeps their paycheck flowing.” – Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg
I was going for ice cream. Summers in Central Texas are scorchers and this summer was right in line – well over 100 degrees on this particular day.
Standing outside the ice cream shop was a little boy looking aghast at his beautiful, double-dip, chocolate ice cream cone melting so quickly that it had now stained his entire right forearm and was running off the end of his elbow in a thin stream. It was creating a warm chocolate milk shake on the pavement below. As I approached, his dad was trying not to laugh and was cajoling the little boy, “Just lick it! Just start licking it!” barely getting the words out because of the scene’s humor. His son looked up at him incredulous and almost screamed, “My tongue’s hot too – it will just make it melt faster!”
Your world is changing. So is mine. That is just our reality.
The ice that most of our careers were built on is turning into water. And then into steam. We keep thinking that after this change will come something solid again, but those thoughts only lead to stress and anxiety and worry and disappointment; we cannot create like we need to create in such a state. The best thing for us all is to make a plan for the future based on reality: there is no more solid. It is time to learn to surf.
And that is actually good news.
Because as ice cream melts, we also have the opportunity to realize that we now have another wonderful thing – a milk shake.
Different. Not what we went out for. But still wonderful on its own.
So we have this choice: we can scramble to salvage what we can of this loved treat (this career, this idea, this business,) that is fading away and before it is gone. OR, we can get curious about what glorious things could be done with a warm milk shake (the opportunities that are created whenever change happens – which is always) and get to work on that. We could, of course, work on both solutions at the same time. OR, maybe worst of all, we could continue to stand stuck, incredulous that the sun is taking away our ice cream and jabbering on about how we hate warm milk shakes and watch the whole thing turn into a brown, sticky mess on the concrete.
We get nothing if we spend this precious time complaining about how our ice cream is melting.