An Inspiring Message from Jeremy Bout, Founder of Edge Factor
2020 dawned and I was stoked.
Then, almost as a precursor to the things that were to come, we lost one of the greatest drummers in history, the profoundly well spoken, Neil Peart from the band RUSH. In a short film that Edge Factor is now releasing called “Growth Rings”, Neil and I explored the idea that each person can mark moments and milestones in our lives, the good and bad years, the challenges and the triumphs, in the same way that the history of a tree can be understood by examining its growth rings. Neil’s words are hitting me hard at a time when we are wrapping up a school year unlike any we have ever experienced.
COVID-19 is now a thing and each of us will mark this year as one we will never forget. For the students, parents, teachers and those who are graduating during school closures, this time will be remembered in different ways: Anticlimactic, Sad, Frustrating, Confusing, Relieving.
Can I encourage you to add a word to the list of feelings that will mark this time for you?
Here is the thing, this may not be what you would have chosen, but it might be a gift and could be your defining moment. Here are some lessons I am learning:
- Resilient people thrive. Resilience is a noun that means this: “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. If you can take a deep breath, think straight and look for ways to grow in this time, you have understood an important life lesson. If you can learn to be resilient, you will thrive in and after COVID-19 in the new job, the new school, or the retraining that might be needed to get back to work.
- A Master = A Good Time Manager. I learned a lot watching Neil prepare for his final, global Rush 40th Anniversary tour: To become a master at anything, whether it’s Music, Sports or Art, you’ve got to put the time in. Right now you have been given the precious gift of time and how you use it will define your ability to thrive in the future. I hope you have picked up a book, enrolled in an online course, picked up an instrument and written a song, or done something that has increased your skills sets. And if you have not been using your time wisely, it’s time to shut off your devices and start now.
- Find your Silver Lining. I get the fact that COVID-19 sucks. I have done my share of complaining and belly aching. But have you found your silver lining? It might be the fact that you took the time to talk with the person you live next door to, or you sat down and ate dinner with your family, or that you’ve found a new opportunity for a career. Maybe it is the awakening that you need to take responsibility for your finances. The ability to focus on the good things in a bad situation will be so helpful to face the unknowns in a Post-Covid World.
OK…. I will get off my soapbox now and wrap this up. Everyone who knows me, knows I love to use the power of storytelling. And this was going to be a big year for us, global travel with films produced around the world… super exciting. I am not missing the irony of the fact that in the year 2020, I now wish I had the 2020 vision to see that I would wake up and find that I am a character in an unfolding story, cast with every other human around the world, living in a new normal. Things are shifting all around me but I find that I am dreaming to hit the open road, to come and meet people like you, who have scars in their growth rings, but in the end, are stronger for them.
So, congratulations to the class of 2020. You are in a class of your own.
President of Edge Factor
Class of 2020: Watch the Video Here
Bonus Content! Coming Soon
Narrated by Neil Peart of RUSH, the short film Growth Rings celebrates the impact that music makes to mark moments in our lives. Just as the life of a tree can be understood through it's growth rings, we can look at life's milestones and remember the music that resonated with us. Stay tuned!
Visit the Edge Factor platform to discover more resources on how to thrive during school closures.