Embrace the Negative.

Every year we tell ourselves we just want to be happy, build great relationships and make lots of money. But the problem is not that we all want the same things; it’s that we’re asking the wrong questions. Consider the great Charlie Chaplin, who once said, “to truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.” So as a new year begins, perhaps our resolutions need to change from wanting the positive to embracing the negative.

Certainly, a new year brings hope, and we all strive for a great attitude. But the more compelling question may be, what pain are we willing to take in order to achieve our objectives? In other words, what sacrifices are required to make our dreams a reality?

Business objectives are no different than personal goals. We must decide what kind of pain we are willing to take to build our brand and carry our overall strategy. More specifically, can we let go of the immediate gratification that dominates our culture and stay the course through adversity?

Every year begs the question about what we want to have in our business. And the realities of our individual lives are that whatever we wanted to attain soon will be the thing that causes us the pain. The ones we love will be the ones we fight with the most. The dream job we landed will be the one we stress over the most. So it is in business too. The strategies that catapult us to new heights soon will be the ones that no longer have merit and weigh us down.

Accepting the never ending journey of ups and downs in our personal world is human. Similarly, it makes sense to embrace the struggles in business that offer opportunities for growth. Acceptance of challenges is the first step to making the progress we desire.

Joy doesn’t just sprout out of the ground like daisies and rainbows, it grows from problems. And business success is generated from the acceptance and active engagement of negative experiences and challenges…not the avoidance of them.

In our first issue of Connect Magazine (first of the year and on press now), we’re proud to bring you our cover article “20/20 Vision.” The story delves into the major challenge of our business lives-what the future job market looks like. Our second article, “Balancing Act,” examines how to manage our needs along with those of others-a key component to any great company.

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We wish each of you a year full of challenge and growth, and look forward to developing along with you.