Aggression. Jealousy. And, oh by the way – the sky is the limit opportunities to work in your passion. Would you jump in with both feet or start running in the opposite direction?
In this month’s series, Compounding Good, we’ve looked at the unexpected rewards that can be found during adversity. The people we’ve met haven’t always had their external circumstances change. Many times the resolve they showed, the determination to power through, made the difference. As Winston Churchill famously said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen is a MIT graduate and executive in technology, an industry dominated by men. The diversity numbers are dismal. She said, “Technical women leave tech at 4 times the rate of women MDs, because the tech industry is so hostile. You see very senior women leaving technology and the men stay, mostly because they [women] feel quite isolated and are isolated by the very systems.”
Her experience at Google left her shaking her head. “I mean, I left Google X. All the senior women have left Google X. I was the last to make it. I was, to be fair, the last there. Megan Smith left, Claire Hughes Johnson…Vice Presidents at Google left. There was a reason for that.”
Nevertheless, her career in tech, a field she has loved since childhood, has been worth the fight. She remembered a grad school presentation for a holographic system that started well. In the middle of her talk, a man renowned for his groundbreaking holography work began to dispute her theories. He told her, and the rest of the audience, how impossible it was.
Someone else might have drowned their sorrows at the cocktail party afterwards. But when Dr. Jepsen spotted the scientist, she asked him to defy conventional thinking. She said, “You’ve done these impossible things. Why are you sort of saying to other people it’s impossible? Why not consider it for a while before you say it’s impossible and figure out a way through it…because it’s the only way anything changes.”
He took her words to heart. In fact, they spent the rest of the evening working through the problems at the bar. They’ve been fast friends ever since.
Bishop Noel Jones gave a Message where he asked the audience, “Who is thinking for you? Who is controlling your mind? You need to get your mind back. You’re going to need it.”
Can you personalize Bishop Jones’ challenge and find Good in the midst of your hardship? You may have had a business fail, but call your spirit back from that bankruptcy – you have another business to create. Someone may have broken your heart, but it’s time to heal – there’s someone who’s waiting for you to love them. You may be nervous about going beyond generations of family routines, but let yourself gain strength, not crumble under the weight of someone else’s limitations.
This is the week to take compounding Good into your own hands. Sometimes your attitude is more important than the obstacles you’re facing. Keep going, just like Mary Lou Jepsen. It’s the moment to ask, “Impossible – why is that so?”