A few years ago I attended an all-day leadership class for business owners. About midway through the training, the facilitator solicited questions from the participants. One of the business owners requested advice with solving his business, financial, and marriage problems. He and the facilitator began having an open dialogue about his situation and at some point in their discussion the facilitator said the phrase “gold has to be challenged”. I didn’t fully appreciate the meaning and depth of the statement at the time but the words lingered in my ears and the phrase stuck with me. Later, as I encountered my own major life challenges like losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in poor real estate investments, working hard to stabilize a declining real estate sales business, and coping with tension at home while my husband and I confronted mounting financial pressure, I once again contemplated the phrase the facilitator said at the workshop. “Gold has to be challenged” is a reference to the gold purification process and a metaphor for the character transformation that often occurs when one persists through challenges on the way to achieving something great.
When gold is extracted from the earth it is not in a form that can be used for commodity investing or jewelry. It is imbedded in ore, a type of rock. Once the ore is mined, a leaching process is used to get rid of the impurities and extract the gold. Then additional processing using chemical compounds and an extreme high degree of heat are applied to further purify the gold. “Gold has to be challenged” is saying there is a process, a pressure, an upsetting, a breakdown, an energy release, a breakthrough, and a transformation that results from standing in the heat on the way to accomplishing major life goals. Think about it! Major breakthroughs don’t happen in our comfort zone and to move outside of our comfort zone, in the beginning, is painful. Some people can’t do it. It’s too difficult. They would rather retreat to their old comfortable ways and settle for a mediocre life.
“Gold has to be challenged” is a metaphor for You and I have to be challenged to achieve our God-given dreams. To expect anything other than a challenge is living in Fairy Land and to fight to be comfortable and not do what you know you must do is _____________________ (you fill in the blank).
To Your Success,
I was shopping at Costco one day and on my way out I noticed some gym pants in the clothing area, so I walked over to the table to take a closer look. While I was checking out the colors and sizes, I noticed the sales person across the table watching me, so I smiled. She then said “you are so small. Do you have any children?” I said “yes. I have two sons.” She said she use to weigh 98 pounds until she had her kids and now “look at this stomach!!” I smiled and told her “I don’t think I’m so small (as soon as those words came out of my mouth I said to myself, “There you go again playing yourself down for the sake of someone else’s self esteem”) I continued by saying “we’re always picking at ourselves. You look great!” (and she did) then I wished her a good day. As I walked to the check-out line I started wondering where do we get these lenses that we see ourselves through? When do the lenses help us and when do they hurt us? Are we even conscious of our picking? Pick, pick, pick………….I want bigger breast, I want smaller breast, I want straight hair, I want curly hair, I want long legs, I want high cheek bones……..needle, needle, needle. Why are we not as conscious of our thinking as we are about the way we look?