In France in 1916, thousands of soldiers were struggling to stay alive, not from the threat of their enemies in trenches across from them.
Not from artillery shelling, the sniper attacks or the bombing runs, but from the environment.
Winter was amongst the coldest and harshest experienced in years, especially in the trenches.
Winter brought frostbite and exposure and many soldiers died or became sick.
Those were hard and trying times: the sacrifices made by the few for the many should never be forgotten since today we enjoy the freedom that they paid for with their lives and blood.
Today we sit behind our desks and play with technologies, and sometimes we see our children growing up with a sense of entitlement that arguably they have never had to sacrifice anything for.
It is so easy to forget those horrors that our ancestors had to endure to gift us with the lives that we have today, and in many cases take for granted and scoff at.
In 1916 being “in the trenches” really meant something, now we hear that phrase being thrown around on management courses or being used as a buzzword.
When you have a heavy workload, looming deadlines or an upcoming launch, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious, like you are “in the trenches” with bullets flying all around you.
But think about this, you may see that stack of paperwork as daunting, you may have unhappy customers but to those soldiers in 1916, your desk and tasks are nothing more than a safe warm sanctuary.
It’s what they would have loved every freezing day in those trenches.
The next time you feel overwhelmed and that old proverb of being in the trenches pops into your mind, remember that to the soldiers who really fought in them, your trenches are just a crack in the ground.
It is not terrifying, just something to deal with.
So, don’t let it stop you.
The human spirit is far stronger than you might think.