“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”
Think what you want about Kissinger … this quote is awesome <although, geologically speaking, it may not be truly accurate>.
In our quest for self in a Life which seemingly shoves us into a wretched parallel universe on a daily basis where everyone judges you on some absurd views of ‘being noticed is what matters’ or ‘shine bright like a diamond‘> … thinking of yourself as a piece of coal seems … well … quite underwhelming.
To be clear.
I am not going to write nor suggest any of that typical “We are all diamonds! Each and every one of us” tripe.
Instead … I will be uplifting and suggest “we are all coal! … each and every one of us!”
Sound silly? <but significantly more attainable>
But I gotta tell ya … if more of us stopped fixating on glamor & glitz and more of us focused on good ole plain resilience & the steady, oft unspectacular, aspects of Life and who we are … well … the world would be more likely a diamond <and not individuals>. In other words … we would most likely get a lot of good valuable shit done.
To me … that applies to your business life just as much as your everyday Life.
Metaphorically … life is a lot like coal most of the time.
It is dirty.
It is messy.
It can be dangerous just to breathe sometimes.
But I will remind everyone that coal is productive, generates energy and … well … is grounded in the elements of Life.
But seriously … think about it … I would suggest that if you look at it that way … being a piece of coal <putting the environmental issues off to the side> is really not such a bad thing.
It is grounded in some truly meaningful things. Maybe some unspectacular things … but good meaningful things.
It sends the right kind of message, to oneself, to deal with reality.
It kind of refocuses us on what is most important in living Life. Yeah. I know it isn’t popular to say this but most of the best things in Life are found in the unspectacular:
The best people more often than not go unseen and unnoticed by the majority.
The best moments more often than not go unseen until looking back.
Just as perfection is most often found in the imperfections … spectacular is most often found in the unspectacular.
I imagine I will never be a motivational speaker using “we are all coal!”
I guess I can live with that.
But my real point here?
People use this quote far too often to talk about pressure as if it refers to distinct unique moments in time in which we need to rise to the occasion. Occasions in which we will be judged on how well we respond.
They get it wrong <metaphorically and reality-wise>.
The truth is that diamonds get created by the grind & pressure over time.
Metaphorically … shit … that is the daily grind and pressure of Life.
That is my real point about why suggesting we should seek to be a piece of coal, while not glamorous or spectacular, is useful.
I could quite easily suggest that if you are a piece of coal, day in and day out, your life will be viewed as a diamond.
Let me say it this way. If you live your Life solidly day to day, if you manage your team, lead your company, not focused on glitz & glory, i am 99% confident that you will be pretty successful.
I do wish more parents taught this to their children and more business people focused on this type of thinking more often.
If I truly believe I am the architect of my own fate … let me build my Life as coal and not a diamond.
It will be my Life that receives the gift of the diamond.