Psa. 112 : 4 (KJV) Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:
Each time you are faced with a ‘dead end’ at work, in business or in life generally, there are three options:
1. Turn back
2. Stay there (Break down, lament, cry, gather pity parties and make an abode there.)
3. Keep moving and pressing on against the odds.
Surely, a way always appears with the third option!
Mary Kay Ash, a 20th century American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics once said,
For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.
One of the greatest lessons I have learnt in life, my work life especially, is this: Even though things may not turn out exactly as planned or as I would have loved, when faced with a paralyzing situation, there is ALWAYS a way forward!
I learned this lesson early in my career when I worked as an IT Support/ Service Desk personnel.
But it didn’t come cheap or easy!
By ITIL® standards, which were the framework and benchmark for our operations, the aim of Incident Management is not to fix a faulty system but to restore affected services as quickly as possible and keep them from affecting operations by every means available.
However, in those days, I would get ‘fired’ for such things as a network outage which couldn’t be restored on time due to service provider’s inability to meet up with Service Level Agreement (SLA) . Those days, vendors were in the habit of using obvious prevalent challenges this part of the world e.g power failure, fuel scarcity, traffic jam etc. as excuse for SLA breeches.
And then I would take offence and try to defend myself- after all, it shouldn’t be my fault that the vendor couldn’t meet up.
The more I reasoned that way, the farther I was from progress.
The truth however is, I wasn’t being penalised for the Service Providers’ failure, but for depending only on the reactive approach of calling for help when the services had already failed.
Actually, what was required of me was to forestall operational downtimes by providing alternative fail over and backup plans pending when permanent fix can be applied to system failures.
I was being challenged to be proactive. However, I was simply too narrow minded to be logical.
Over the years, I learned the lesson which was simply this:
Besides drawing realistic SLAs, I would have built redundancy into every system I supported by drawing out fail over plans to start with, and creating business justifications for them if need be.
In other words, my priority in every situation would have been to proactively back up every dependency on each service I support, rather than my reactive approach of trying to get Service Providers rush to my aid when the chips were already down!
As long as I saw every service outage as a dead end with no other solution than getting a third party to my rescue reactively, I was stuck to a point in my career.
The moment I started thinking out of the box and reasoning in terms of creating proactive but cost effective workarounds in addition to effective SLAs, I started getting promoted!
There is ALWAYS a way!
The truth is, there is no stopping any man who dares to believe this because there are really no such things as dead ends in life- only temporary road blocks which can be removed!
The earth is spherical and there should be no fear of falling off the edge- because no edges exist in the first place!
Likewise, there shouldn’t be any reason valid enough to keep any man redundant in life, or at work- not lack of tools, inadequate training, scarce resources, bad economy or insufficient funds to mention but a few potential challenges!
Pro 24:10 (KJV) If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Every ‘dead end’ in life (the call to deliver amidst scarce resources at the work place or in business, or surviving on a strict budget for example) is a test of three things:
1. Our ability to manage resources and situations
2. Our ability to negotiate i.e. use our initiatives to carve out the best possible course of action in any given circumstances,
3. Our ability to innovate i.e. provide necessary workarounds to ‘road blocks’.
All these show what stuff a man is made of and are measures of his ability to think out-of-the-box.
Surely, hardship is a revealer of a man’s real make up.
Besides, anyone who fails the test and falls short in any of the three points will find it hard to move on to the next level at work, in business, and in life generally.
The Way Out
This is what to do to ensure you come out victorious when faced with any dead end situation in life
1. Believe that there is always a workaround for every difficult situation.
There are no such things as dead ends in life- only temporary road blocks.
Besides, as a child of God, life is inclined to favor you if you walk conscious of the covenant and the promises.
There always exists a way, and even when there seems to be none, God can always cause a way to appear if you press on in faith!
Isa 43:19-20 (KJV) Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.
2. Expand Your Horizons.
Get knowledge. You need stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone and get knowledge about various subjects of (and out of) interest. Reading wide expands your horizon and helps build up your reserve power against the ‘day of reckoning’.
Pro 24:5 (KJV) A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
3. Get More Familiar With God’s Words.
The Lord is bound to come to the aid of His covenant children in times of need provided they know and hold on to His promises. When you feast on and are full of His words and promises, your divine status becomes more real to you than any challenge which threatens to stop you.
Psa 18:29 (KJV) For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
4. Get Wisdom
It takes the matchless wisdom of God to see the way through obvious limitations and barrier. If you lack wisdom, the word of God says to ask boldly without wavering.
5. Keep Moving. Don’t Stop.
Psa. 23:4 (KJV) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
To walk through troops and scale obstacles, you’ve got to keep moving!
It was Martin Luther King Jr. who said
If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
That is the way out of any dead end. Don’t let it stop you. Keep inching forward.
And if you ever find yourself in the valley of the shadow of death, don’t stop! Neither should you ever gather pity parties or make an abode there.
Know that it’s not your permanent residence. Contrarily, you are just passing by.
Therefore by all means, make sure you are moving there!
Lord, Thank You because there is no such thing as a dead end. The forces of life mustn’t be strong enough to cage me in.
Open my eyes to see beyond this dead end and as I keep pushing in the right places, let new ways open up before me according to Your promises. Amen!
Funmi Adebayo (c) 2013