“We live in the crucible between the promise of who we can become and the reality of who we’ve been.” Erwin McManus
I love this quote from McManus taken from his book The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art
What McManus is saying is that in order to get from “who you are today” to your future potential or, the “promise of who you can become”, you will experience a lot of work, learning, change and pain. This journey is not comfortable but it is rewarding. It will stretch you in ways that you don’t want to stretch and it will break you down and then build you back up.
A crucible is defined as “a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.” The crucible is used to break down substances at high temperatures or to refine and purify substances by burning or boiling off impurities.
This does not appear to be a very nice place to live!
McManus tells us that we are living in this crucible because we cannot grow as individuals and achieve our greatest potential without going through periods of intense change and learning. We can read a book and “learn” a subject but until we have actually experienced for ourselves what we have read about, we really do not understand the subject. This is why in school and college we have labs and tutorial classes so that we can apply our book knowledge to real life. In the business world things like leadership and business acumen can really only be truly learned and understood by experiencing it firsthand.
This experience is not always pleasant. It can be as painful for us as being dragged through a fiery hot crucible but it is critical for us as we move from “who we are” to the “promise of who we can become.” If you are currently in a crucible situation, don’t run from it. Learn from it. What can you take from your crucible experience that will make you stronger, better and move you towards the “promise of who you can become?”
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” Vince Lombardi