There’s a certain beauty that can only be seen in times of stress or crisis. Perseverance, courage, ingenuity, dedication—most of these only become visible when called upon in difficult times.

I’ve always been rather fond of my hibiscus plant. Though each individual flower never lasts very long, each one is bright and beautiful when it blooms. During the recent ice storm, I saw a new side of my plant. I saw it hunched over, carrying the weight of almost two centimeters of ice on its thin branches so that the branches were scraping the ground instead of reaching for the sky. But, for all its perceived delicateness, the branches held the weight and they were all the more beautiful for it.

I think too often we try to just get through tough or stressful times. All we see is the end goal and plow on straight ahead, holding our breath until the end and then we collapse on the ground afterwards and celebrate that we made it.

Personally, I think we should do more celebrating mid-way through. When we are so stressed that we don’t think we can handle anything more, when we are exhausted and feeling brittle, we should take a moment to stand tall and say, “Hey, I can do this. I am doing this. And that’s pretty darn awesome.”

Failure is, of course, a possibility. But fear of that failure should not paralyze us so that we can’t enjoy the journey for what it is.

To all my friends, family, fellow MBA students, teammates, and fellow karate-ka—here’s to the next few months. They will be crazy and exhausting and difficult and I intend to love every minute of it. Thank you for allowing me to take this journey by your side.