I am reading Antifragile at the moment by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
The book is about systems that actually become stronger through adversity and stress. They thrive and grow from it - the opposite of being fragile (and not to be mistaken with being robust or resilient).
In taking a year off during a difficult period of my life, this is one of the things I have learnt. That through difficultly I actually become better and stronger. There is a lot of common wisdom around this, and we hear it in phrases such as 'necessity is the mother of all invention' and 'when life gives you a lemon make lemonade'.
I am so grateful for having been placed in a situation of stress and difficulty, because it woke me up. I was comfortable and safe in my life, my job, my salary. I knew that something was not quite right, but I was not going to do anything about it until I was forced to confront it.
In taking a year off and being forced to be with myself, I managed to find my purpose and the corrections I needed to make.
Which makes me think about how I can practise putting myself into difficultly so that I force myself to grow. As an old manager of mine use to say, create a problem for yourself so that you extend yourself to find a solution.
I recently did this by publishing my podcast before I had all of my ducks in a row for launching. In launching before I was ready, I stopped myself from procrastinating any longer, and had to quickly find ways of learning all the things I needed to do.
I call it mindful problem creation.