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Not Giving Up-Innovation is Born in the Face of Adversity

I have seen many posts of stressed out mothers and fathers, at wits end trying to accomplish everything that is set out in front of them.

Get work done.

Keep the house clean.

Get schoolwork done.

And maintain some semblance of sanity.

And in this, I have also seen posts of “It’s not possible to do all of this. Let things go. It’ll be ok to accomplish it later. There’s always tomorrow.”

What happened to YOLO? You only live once? Sometimes we get dragged down by circumstances into a place of complacency. And that is not where innovation is born.

Right now, 2020 is not the way any of us wished it would. However, we must show our children how we can rise up in the face of bad circumstances and keep moving forward-learning, growing and becoming resilient. It doesn’t mean that we cannot have a few moments to be upset or disappointed. Disappointment is ok. However, if we continue to dwell in the “What could have beens”, or “I wish it were different” we won’t be able to innovate.

My Struggles

In 2009, I had my first son. For many people, having their first child would be the most joyful time of their life. A new exciting adventure-a new part of the family. However, my husband was being deployed at the same time. So, I faced raising my newborn alone. My son had multiple health issues that I had to decide what to do on my own, because my husband was unreachable. Did I have my moments of raw angst, anger, and frustration? Absolutely? However, we innovated. I worked with other families who were facing the same issues across the country, met up with others constantly and even brought my son to my old job with me to work! I worked with the local YMCA to make it easier to access their services to families of service members.

I took a frustrating situation and innovated.

In 2018, I suffered a brain injury. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks, and when I came out of the hospital, my speech and memory was impaired. I couldn’t drive which was a huge part of my jobs. Once again, I worked on innovating what I had been doing and did a little twist. I connected with others who had suffered the same setbacks and learned from them. I pivoted. There were days that I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I made myself, because there are people counting on me to make life better.

I ended up speaking at a conference about business planning, and my talk has been shared around the world. Not too shabby!

Innovators Who Made a Difference Through Adversity

Do you know how you get Wifi? You might want to check out the book “The Only Woman in the Room”. The book about Hedy Lamarr, a Hollywood star who was married to a Nazi Arms dealer that became a scientist. This book is absolutely amazing. And, shows how innovation was born in the face of adversity. This book was one I read recently, and I had no idea! So, you can thank Hedy for making the internet (and reading this blog post) possible!

Ludwig Van Beethoven was still creating masterpieces when he was deaf.

James Teh and Michael Curran created a NonVisual Desktop Access screen reading software for free. Both programmers are blind, but were able to create a windows based tool to so the visually impaired would be able to experience what was on a screen.

William Kamkawamba created a windmill to help supply drinking water and irrigation water for his families farm in Malawi, and another windmill for electricity. He was fourteen.

How do you innovate

It sounds pretty simple, but look around you-What problems do you see? How do you solve them? Sometimes the first solution isn’t the best. Sometimes the second one isn’t going to be it either. Do what others aren’t doing, and don’t follow the crowd.

Help others. Listen to others. Sometimes they will give you good advice and sometimes they won’t, but listening usually doesn’t hurt.

Don’t give up, but it is ok to take a break. Sometimes within the breaks you will find your solution!

Keep going! Keep chugging along and remember the next generation is looking at us for resiliency during tough times.

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