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Will Flint

Founder, and CEO of Energym

My Story

A few nights ago, I jolted awake in the dark, heart-pounding, eyes wide; my mind flashing back to some of the darkest days I’ve faced. Five years ago, almost to the day, I awoke in a hospital bed with a frightening recollection of an incident that would change my life irrevocably. I was unable to move as a consequence of what I learned to be stab wounds in the back, leg, side, and stomach; 60 staples, a collapsed lung, and severed spleen. As I heard the hushed voices of doctors discussing how normal my life may or may not return to, I remember the fleeting feelings of helplessness and moments of feeling like I had nothing to fight on for. While this memory still haunts my sleep on occasion, I now look back and I’m grateful for the hardest days I’ve faced. ​ After being stabbed 12 times, it’s difficult to believe you’ll ever recover from something so traumatic. I thought I’d never step foot back in a gym. I thought I’d never compete again. There were certainly plenty of days I struggled to even face the world. At the time, I had no idea that the most difficult thing I’d ever faced, could lead me down a path that would see me create something that I truly believe will change the world for the better. However, those small decisions I made daily to push on, were a demonstration of my resilience and refusal to let adversity define me. ​ But, what exactly is resilience? It’s a term we’ve heard a lot of recently given the challenges of the past couple of years. It means something different for us all, but, for me, resilience is about making a conscious, courageous (it may not feel like it at the time) decision to acknowledge despair, face it and forge on, despite the crippling, often overwhelming, and consuming feeling that adversity presents us with. Five years ago, I didn’t think I’d make it to where I am today and so naturally I’ve reflected a lot on my journey and hope to share some of the lessons I’ve learned about resilience. ​ 1. Feel all the feels. When you think of resilience, you might think of superheroes and stoic faces but in reality, resilience can involve plenty of ugly crying and moments of despair. Displaying and really feeling/sitting with your emotions is part of building resilience. Maybe you made a huge mistake at work or lost something important to you. It’ll sting, yes, but as the Japanese proverb says – ‘Even monkeys fall from trees.’ Falling will hurt. It might be embarrassing (not being able to put on my own socks is way up there). But it doesn’t define your self-worth. Feel it, get comfortable with being uncomfortable, embrace it and learn from it. ​ 2. In the moment, it won’t feel profound. You’ll take small steps that display your inner strength and you’ll move forward, a little each day. You’ll adapt. You’ll find ways to survive. Then, without realising, you’ll look back and realise you’re thriving. That’s why, as clichéd as it sounds – it’s so important not to give up. While you’re deep in the thick of those challenging times, it’ll feel like you’re wading through quicksand and going nowhere but when you’ll look back, your collective sense of accomplishment will be immense. This is how resilience is built – it’s that realisation that despite your darkest thoughts, you made it through. Then, next time – you’re better equipped and armed with the knowledge that you can and have made it through before and you will again. ​ 3. Build something better. We all have those dreams. Ideas. Things we wish we’d just take the jump and pursue. But, we get comfortable. As humans, we’re naturally predisposed to gravitate towards familiarity and predictability. However, it’s often when we thrust ourselves into moments that are none of these things, that we thrive. Resilience isn’t just about finding the strength to keep going, it’s about being courageous in accepting that at times you may fail and deciding to do it anyway. Thomas Edison made thousands of incandescent lightbulbs –and was awarded thousands of patents before he finally got it right. This is resilience. So, bite the bullet and make that side-hustle a full-time thing. Yes, you can raise a baby alone. If you move to the other side of the world, you will make more friends – don’t focus on how lonely it’ll be at first. Feel the fear and do it anyway. ​ I’ve spent a lot of time considering how I got to this point today. Out of such adversity, Energym was born and has become a company I’m so unbelievably proud of. We’ve created something truly special that I believe will change the world, and I often consider how the business is symbolic of my personal journey of building resilience. The occasional disturbed night’s sleep now only serves as a reminder of how far I’ve come and how strong I feel. There was a time when I wished that this never happened to me. Where I questioned, “Why me?” Now, if given the choice of reliving what happened five years ago - I’d do it all again if it meant I got to this point. Resilience isn’t about bouncing back, it’s about carrying your difficult experiences with you, moving forward, and understanding that they shape your future self, in time, for the better.


https://energym.io/

Will Flint
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