I want to share an idea that I truly believe in: We should learn to love getting lost in the woods.

I feel lucky because almost all of iF’s projects stretch us, teach us, improve us. That’s because we have the privilege of figuring out hard problems and creating something elegant and new to solve them.

This shouldn’t be easy.

Making sense of complexity and ambiguity is tough. We get confused, lose our sense of direction, talk ourselves in circles. We chase bold ideas that don’t pan out. We experiment and fail. This is normal. This is healthy. In fact, it’s what we need to do in order to push ourselves and emerge with the clear, grounded, imaginative thinking that our clients deserve.

I’ve heard folks jokingly talk about those periods of crushing uncertainty as “the trough of despair”. I get that. It can be discouraging when you get stuck or overwhelmed. I think of this as getting lost in the woods. It’s scary but you can learn to love when it happens because it means that we’re getting deep into the issues and really wrestling with the problem.  And we always use grit, determination and each other to navigate our way through.

So the next time you’re feeling nervous about taking on a hard project that requires you to do things you’re not sure that you know how to do, take a deep breath. Remember that this is the sign of good, meaningful work. Open yourself up to learning by doing. Ask for help.  And get ready for a fun walk in the woods.

Share your own tale from the woods or musings on the topic. #lostandlovingit