“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.”

Haruki Murakami

I have always loved this quote and I have found it to be true on my life’s journey. I was a guest on Joshua Smith’s GSD Mode podcast last week. We were having a discussion about surviving the hard times that we experience in our lives. During our conversation, I was reflecting back to a time when I was in business school with few resources and lacking the pedigree and family legacy history of many of my classmates which insured a much smoother journey through two years of an advanced degree. This was a time in my life many years ago, when I would chew Bazooka bubble gum most of the day to keep the hunger pangs at bay. My funds were limited which made having three square meals a day a longed-for luxury. The great news is that I had friends who would invite me to their home for dinner almost every Friday night. I would leave my post at Harvard Business School from my tiny dorm room and start my six-mile walking expedition, rain or shine for a home cooked meal. Those voyages were wonderful opportunities for me to discover things I would have never uncovered if it weren’t for finding myself in a rough patch in my life.

It is true, on the other side of each storm I have experienced in my life, I found new beginnings and new possibilities. Each storm has gifted me with the opportunity for growth and understanding. Like in nature, storms come and go with the seasons. They bring rain and snow and wind, all of which play a part in keeping a natural order to things. Some storms are mild and short-lived. Others can be fierce and forceful, but they all do come to an end. I have come to know that even on cloudy days, the sun still shines somewhere above the clouds.