Arnold Terminator 3 Gave Me Insight on How to Take a Challenge
I’m not a Terminator movie fan, but I caught the end of Terminator 3 on cable the other day. I’ve heard #3 is not a favorite of the fans, but it did highlight to me how a person’s response to a challenge can determine their future as a leader. The right response can launch you into leadership stardom. A mediocre response can leave you well … just plain mediocre. (Warning: If you haven’t seen the movie, I give away the ending.)
In this Terminator installment, yet another robot guy (that looks just like Arnold) travels back in time to eliminate a young John Conner before he rises to power. For the previous two Terminator movies, they’ve been talking about John as the George Washington of the future. The other side flat out wants him dead; hence, Arnold is out to terminate him.
John and Kate, his girlfriend and future wife he finds out, avoid nears death about a million times as they struggle to reach this military center where they hope to prevent a nuclear war from starting. In his dying seconds, Kate’s father, a military big wig, sends them to Crystal Peak where they think they’ll find a control center for short circuiting the war. Instead, they end up sealed in an antiquated Cold War-era shelter, built for high ranking government officials, protected from the nuclear fallout that will soon come.
In the final moments of the movie, John hears radio communications in this otherwise silent bunker. Amateur radio operators are calling out to him for help. (Remember: No high ranking official made it to the shelter.) You see very clearly step one in what would be a long series of events that launches John into unexpected and probably unwanted leadership.
Tough situations fall into people’s laps all the time. For young John Conner, it was a microphone and a lot of people looking direction. For someone else it might be delivering on a deal requiring three times the available resources and headcount. For another it might mean getting a job in this struggling economy with no degree, too many grey hairs or some other perceived obstacle.
Whatever the challenge be it holding bill collectors at bay while looking for work, fighting off some God forsaken disease or figuring out how to raise the triplets your doctor says you’ll soon deliver, you have choices. You can freak out or dig your head in the ground ignoring the problem altogether…or how about taking ONLY the next logical step. In crazy situations, things work out best for me when I limit myself to taking a single step, then another step, then another. And for each one of these, I just do the best I can.
All the advice I’ve heard for situations like this centers around taking things slowly, staying faithful and believing things will work out for the best. Alcoholics Anonymous tells us, “One Step at a Time.” The Marines motto tells us “Semper Fi” or “Always Faithful.” In scripture we read “God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it.” (1Cor 10,13) Even we Cuban’s have an expression that roughly translates to “Every baby arrives with a loaf of bread under its arm.”
When we choose to panic, freak out or freeze up, we make things worse for ourselves and those around us. I recommend, and I’m not saying it’s easy, accepting what is and relying even on your lack of confidence if that’s all you have. Do the best can and avoid taking on any more than you can handle at any one time. What I am definitely sure of is that when you look back at the path you took, you’ll be amazed at how well you did and even more impressed with how much you learned and grew for having gone through it.
Hope this helps.