Thoughts on Resilience: Be Rubber, not Glue

Creativebug.com was the first URL I purchased back in the late 90s. This was pre-Facebook so I used the site mainly to post party pictures from the different events in my life as a 20-something. When the idea came about for building an online video subscription site focused on art classes, I already had the perfect name.

I started out by connecting one dot at a time. Talking to anyone and everyone, reaching out to local organizations to find a film crew to shoot a pilot for a class etc. Everything for me at that time was a “First”. First time shooting a spec video, first time building a financial model, first time pitching to investors, and so on.

It was very intense and I was experiencing super emotional highs and lows since many of the things I was doing was totally outside of my previous comfort zone.

In the end, the company continued to thrive and I survived some super intense moments by using a meditation app where I would do a 10-minute meditation before entering into these situations. I noticed that things always went infinitely smoother when I took the time to do this 10-minute exercise in advance. After leaving the company, I decided to delve deeper into this whole meditation thing. I started practicing Transcendental Meditation where I meditate using a mantra for 20 mins twice per day.

One of the things my meditation teacher told us in the beginning was that meditation won’t solve all of your problems, it will merely soften the edges of sharp, painful blows.

The example given was that each of us starts out as a porcelain teacup. Imagine that teacup (us) gets thrown against a concrete wall at full force and shatters into tiny pieces. It would take us a long time to recover and carefully glue ourselves back together piece by piece. What meditation does for us is that it transforms us into a rubber cup. We still hit the concrete wall with as much force and it is still extremely painful, but the aftermath of our recovery is much quicker.

Now that I’ve decided to jump back into the startup world by launching a new company, I’m taking all that I’ve learned through meditation and resisting the urge to internalize and personalize every twist and turn this new business will surely take. I am slowly turning into the rubber cup and it feels a lot less bumpy this time around.