Pain-2-Power Person of the Week: Colonel Sanders

The late Harland David Sanders, a.k.a. “Colonel Sanders” is known as the face and force behind Kentucky Fried Chicken.  What could he have to do with Pain-2-Power?

Well, I have said, again and again, that the comeback story is the iconic story of human beings.  It is when adversity visits that those who dig deep for more creativity and courage find buried treasure inside themselves and in the world.

Sanders is a great example.  Colonel Sanders, you see, had run a motel and restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky for a couple decades when an interstate highway built in 1955 bypassed Corbin, entirely.  Sanders was hit hard by the rerouting of traffic and had to sell his all his assets.  He was broke.

Did Sanders throw in the cards and get a job at another local restaurant?  Not even close.  Since he had already begun the work of creating a franchise of his chicken restaurant, he took to the road full-time to get other restauranteurs to sign up.  In other words, he doubled down.  Within five years, he had 190 franchisees and 400 locations.

I don’t know if Sanders read the tea leaves this way, but he might have:  “A new road has choked off my business.  I can either feel run over, again and again, for the rest of my days, or I can get on that road and travel to my destiny.  Maybe the road being built right ‘through me’ is a sign.”

Is this an easy way to think?  No.  Is it better than lying down in the middle of the road and waiting to be run over?  Yes.

Give yourself the right to think that the hurdles placed in front of you might be measuring your future progress, not ending it.  Give yourself the right to imagine the gate in front of you is a starting gate.  Interpreting resistance as a sign to double or triple down is your God-given right.

Using an example from the Old Testament, when the Hebrew people reached the Red Sea, with the Egyptians in hot pursuit and hoping to slaughter all of them, they could have despaired and cursed their lot.  Instead, they believed.  They believed that the road to the Promised Land was straight through the Red Sea.  They conquered their fear and put one foot in front of the other because they had faith.  And they were right to have faith.

Sometimes, the whole universe aligns to test your commitment.  I don’t know why.  I just know it does.  And when you meet the test, you are rewarded.  Does that mean it will happen soon?  No.  Does it mean that you won’t be tested, again and again?  It does not.  What it means is that you can’t be defeated—ever—until you give up your ability to believe your story will be a comeback story, a story of renewal, a story of resurrection.

This is true in your personal life, your business life, the life of every company and the life of every nation.  There is no other truth as powerful.  That’s why persistence and determination are omnipotent, and why the truth always wins.

Dr. Keith Ablow

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