It’s been a rainy week in Los Angeles. This is the first bit of rain we’ve seen in a long time; we’ve been stuck in a serious drought for months. Driving down the 101 in the pouring rain, ecstatic to hear raindrops splattering on my windshield, I thought about how we deal with the droughts in our lives.
Whether it’s financial, career, spiritual, or emotional, we inevitably face droughts. How we deal with those “dry” periods defines our character and tests our strength. Do we crumble? Do we go about our way quietly, troubled and anxious? How can we lead and lift others if we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders?
We can’t, so let’s share that weight.
The one thing that helps us out of a drought is the one thing we seldom do: ask for help. We want everyone to think we have it all figured out. Sharing our troubles requires humility, which is often considered a weakness in our society. However, the wise, healthy, strong individual is the one who recognizes when help is needed, and asks for it.
As a songwriter, when I go through dry writing spells, the first thing I do is surround myself with people and share my troubles. I read books, watch TV or the sunset. Friends, family, or colleagues can’t offer a solution or advice if you don’t share your burdens with them. You can’t get inspiration from the sunset, ocean, or your new favorite book if you don’t lose yourself in them.
Drought is the only natural disaster that tends to disperse people rather than bring them together. We come together in the wake of a hurricane, huddle in a cellar and brace for a tornado, or pile sandbags in an assembly line to prepare for a flood. But what does a drought do? It causes us to isolate ourselves as we wait in anxiety.
Great leadership is not conditional to our circumstances. Can we fight our own pride and seek help when needed? Can we look at the droughts in our life as an opportunity to learn and interact with others?
The only way to make it rain is to shed the weight and look outwards.