Do you realize how the storm changes you?

Today is May 22 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “do you realize how the storm changes you?” Navigating the chaos resembles battling a storm. The wind, rain, or snow wreaks havoc on those in its path. Storms do not care about your dreams. Storms have no tolerance for your inability to survive them. Storms are blind to your ambition. But there is also a storm in you. To navigate the chaos you will most likely need to unleash your inner storm. Doing so might be the only way to confront the storms that come along your path as you navigate the chaos. Are you ready? Are you willing to accept how the storm changes you?

Haruki Murakami is a best-selling Japanese author with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. Murakami began to write fiction when he was 29. "Before that", he said, "I didn't write anything. I was just one of those ordinary people. I was running a jazz club, and I didn't create anything at all." Murakami is also a serious marathon runner and triathlon enthusiast, though he did not start running until he was 33 years old.

He was inspired to write his first novel, Hear the Wind Sing (1979), while watching a baseball game. In 1978, Murakami was in Jingu Stadium watching a game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp when Dave Hilton, an American, came to bat. According to an oft-repeated story, in the instant that Hilton hit a double, Murakami suddenly realized that he could write a novel. He went home and began writing that night.

Murakami worked on Hear the Wind Sing for ten months in very brief stretches after working days at the bar. He completed the novel and sent it to the only literary contest that would accept a work of that length, winning first prize. After his first publication he continued to write and has written over 12 books.

Haruki Murakami wrote “The storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So. all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

Kio Briggs wrote about storms in Meditations on Freedom and noted “I believe it is supposed to get difficult - your belief in your dream life is supposed to be tested. Remember, just beyond the storm is the island; if you really want to get there then fight for it and stay the course.” But few people fight to stay the course. As Briggs wrote:

“We sometimes see the storm in the distance and believe that the difficulty of going through it is not worth it; we believe that our canoe cannot make it through the storm, so we never even try to. Some begin the journey then turn around when the canoe starts swaying a bit. Oftentimes we get into a storm and begin to question if the rest of the journey is even worth it; we stop believing that the island on the other side truly exists. Some even get as far as the midst of the storm and turn around they have almost passed it - along the way it is easy to stop believing that the island truly exists. Only a few fight for it and truly believe that it exists, as such, they never stop moving towards it until they eventually make it.”

Do you see the storm in the distance and believe it is too difficult to even start?

Do you being the journey to the storm but turn around when it gets too challenging?

Do you travel into the storm only to turn around just before the calm was to appear?

Are you one of the few who fight through the storm and navigate the chaos to the other side?