Dealing with set backs is a universal condition. When James Murray, the lead editor of the first Oxford English Dictionary was enrolled to publish the dictionary, he was confronted with a near impossible task: document the use of every single word in the English language throughout history. Originally expecting the project to take five to ten years, the work actually took fifty and was only completed thirteen years after his death.
Along the way he was confronted by many people who doubted his methods and beset by pressures to take shortcuts in order to complete the project sooner for financial reasons. In the end, it was his single minded determination and relentless commitment to the integrity of the project that saw its completion as the principal historical dictionary of the English language.
Time and time again, the world’s greatest leaders have persisted against all odds to change the world in meaningful ways.
I often reflect on a scene from the movie, Darkest Hour, where Winston Churchill feels demoralized because his entire cabinet is against him and is demanding that he negotiate a truce with Hitler. His wife says to him: “You are strong because you are imperfect. You are wise because you have doubts.”
Overcoming adversity and overcoming self doubt go hand in hand. Adversity is the very heart of the unknown because if the outcome was known, there would be nothing to overcome. It is the very fact of its mystery that lends adversity its tremendous force.
It takes courage, stamina, and strength to hold space for your faith and your doubt at the same time. Whatever your adversity might be, willfully stepping into your doubt is the tried and true path to victory. Allow your doubt to inform your faith. This is the very definition of wise action: conviction with consideration.
Today’s video explores the power of faith.