It’s not like many of us have extensive blacksmithing experience, but we all seem to understand the phrase, “Strike while the iron is hot.” Smiths know that to best shape a piece the iron must heated to the proper temperature and the blow of the hammer must land with force in a particular place.
With repeated heatings and repeated blows, the smith can create something beautiful, useful and strong.
But, of course, the blacksmith knows what he or she is doing. They understand the materials they are working with, and know how to calibrate the force of the hammer. They trust the solidity of their anvil, and use its different parts to achieve different effects in the end product. They also know their own strength, and bring it to bear in every step of the process.
Now, from where I’m sitting, I see something. I see that right about now the iron is getting pretty hot for you.
You’ve got to make that decision. Angle for the promotion. Find that new job. Start that new business. Heal that challenging relationship. Take better care of yourself. Do that thing you’ve been thinking about for all this time.
And you’re anxious.
You ask: Do I have the strength?
Can I manage the hammer?
Do I trust the anvil to support this work?
Will I strike right? When the iron is exactly hot enough?
Do I know what I’m doing?
And, from my vantage point, I say the answer is… yes.
You are strong enough, and you know what you’re doing.
Your strength? Comes from your entire body of work, and every one of your accomplishments, big and small.
Your hammer? It’s the unique ability and perspective you bring to your work.
Your anvil? Is the support of your family and your network of friends and colleagues.
And the hot metal is this very moment – right now, right here – and is just waiting to be shaped.
Trust in yourself.
Take that hammer into your hand and strike the first blow.
With purpose. And intention. With clear-eyed energy.
Bang! Craft a stronger alliance with your boss, or with that key colleague.
Clang! Ask for what you want, and need.
Crack! Offer a great idea, and shepherd it into life.
Wham! Do the thing that seems hard, but not really impossible.
Now is the time. The iron is very hot. Will you take up the hammer and begin to fashion this part of your life’s work?