In the documentary “Elemental”, inventor and entrepreneur Jay Harman searches for investors willing to risk millions on his conviction that nature’s own systems hold the key to Earth’s ecological problems.
Basing his designs on shapes in nature, what inspires him most is not the design itself, but the optimism of nature, as demonstrated by its fertility. Ferns produce millions of spores in an effort to reproduce themselves. Crabs and lobsters produce millions of eggs in the same pursuit.
If you find it hard to label this optimism, you may be able to label it perseverance.
Last year I made over 1000 initial cold calls (not including follow-up calls) to associations and businesses to generate speaking gigs.
Cold calling can be a lonely and frustrating pursuit, with some unexpected bright spots and contracts (often when/where you least expect it…). I really admire the rare people who genuinely enjoy cold calling, but I’ve only been able to achieve mild satisfaction from doing it.
But Jay Harman’s “re-frame” of nature’s perseverance into optimism made me rethink.
What is perseverance but a practical optimism in action?
Optimism isn’t necessarily an ephemeral feeling or state of mind. Sometimes it’s the action of “keeping going”, even when the energy output seems to outpace the expected results.
While I may not repeat the cold calling process in the same way, it does encourage me to find other ways to express my commitment to generating work.
If one seemingly uncomplicated part of nature, can send little potential life missives into the universe, (without knowing what portion of them fulfill their potential), how much more should we be able to achieve?
Perseverance is optimism in action.
May we persevere as we pursue our paths, finding ways to demonstrate (and feel) optimistic,