But Is It “Just the Way It Is”?

Very little in this world works like gravity. Gravity is “just the way it is.” You drop a glass, it falls to the floor. If something isn’t a scientific law, that doesn’t have to just be the way it is. Even scientific laws get tested by scientists, and that is what we have to do when we hear that phrase – either from others or ourselves.

Photo by Mario Beducci on Unsplash

When we hear the thought “That’s Just the Way It Is,” we MUST test the truth there. Is it just the way it is, or is that just a voice in our head or outside of us telling us that?

A fellow recently asked me if “market forces” aren’t “just the way it is”? And that answer is yes and no.

Market forces are another of those ineffable things which march on across the universe. Sometimes people just don’t purchase things. Sometimes they don’t purchase the things you have and sometimes they purchase lots of what you have. Sometimes lots of people have lots of money and sometimes very few are willing to shell out their dough. Market forces can feel mysterious, and lots of marketing gurus tell us ways to access them – ways that worked for them.

However, let’s go back to that dropped glass. When gravity acts upon the glass, it drops to the floor – but the glass doesn’t always break.

I was reminded recently of a friend who had just moved into a new house. He was brushing his teeth and used a glass for rinsing. As he held the glass, it slipped from his fingers and fell to the white porcelain sink below.

And the sink shattered.

The glass survived.

And that’s the trick here. The way we react to the force of gravity, the way we react to the force of the market, whether we break on a tile floor or bounce on a carpet or shatter the seemingly unbreakable porcelain field below us, that is the thing.

When the pandemic hit, my bosses at my day job at the custom furniture workshop hit the phones, talking to each client and each former client to assure them that we weren’t closing our doors and ask for sales. At the end of the first week, they had $30,000 in sales. The company kept its doors open as a couple of the craftsmen figured out how to work from home while the rest worked appropriately socially distanced at the shop. (I was easy. I just took my computer home.)

Throughout the pandemic, I’ve seen stories of resilience. People transforming their restaurants into “grab-and-go” or delivery or take-out. People pushing themselves to pivot and find products or services to support themselves and their families.

So, yes – “market forces” can reflect a reality that restricts the way we can work.

And also no – “market forces” can be avoided by finding a new niche or finding a way to exploit the part of our old niche in the adjusted economy or discovering that small key which lies within ourselves that shatters those market forces.

We are creative. We are imaginative. We are resilient.

We can bounce.

Are you trying to bounce right now? Trying to pivot and find a new way forward?

Start by rejecting the idea of “That’s Just the Way It Is” and substituting “What I Can Do Now.”

Can you use your imagination and discover another way? How can you look at the situation and see possibility instead of restriction?