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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

Can You Make it Rain Harder?

On the morning of February 4, 2007, the city of Miami woke up to a torrential downpour. Strong winds and heavy rain doused Dolphin Stadium as organizers prepared to host Super Bowl XLI that night.

Don Mischer, who had been assigned to produce and direct the halftime show, phoned his headliner, Prince. According to Bruce Rodgers, a production designer, the call went something like this:

Don: Now, I want you to know it's raining.

Prince: Yes, it's raining.

Don: Are you okay?

Prince: Can you make it rain harder?

Prince went on to deliver what many now call the gold standard for halftime shows, closing out the act with his most famous hit, Purple Rain.

Having lived in Portland for over three years, I'm frequently reminded of this story when a workout or race is met with regular Pacific Northwest precipitation. But the lesson can extend beyond weather to anything that adds resistance to a given challenge. As author Ryan Holiday puts it in The Obstacle is the Way, “There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.”

So the next time a storm comes, don't fret. Ask if it can rain harder.

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