In my industry, there are peaks and valleys in our work flow. When things are good, we feel like we can do no wrong. When things are skinny, everything we do is under a microscope. One of my previous bosses used to jokingly say that bringing in lots of revenue covers a world of errors for us in the eyes of the corporate office.

Sometimes the good times last for years on end before a lull in the market comes. Sometimes the shifting of the seasons brings swings of changes that can make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster. The times of plenty are comfortable and exciting making the times of want seem horrible. However, I’ve realized that the times of want are where we sharpen our skills to be able to handle the workload and success during the times of plenty. The intense scrutiny and self evaluation that comes with a period of struggle is what I would compare impure gold going through as it is put into the fire to be purified, and made valuable.

A different example might be the way a butterfly emerges from its cocoon. According to the process the butterfly goes through when emerging from its cocoon is vital for its survival.

In most instances, helping the butterfly out of the chrysalis will prevent it from ever flying. The butterfly needs the struggle to strengthen its wings. It will survive with flowers placed in front of it to walk to.

When the Nuggets are bringing in wins, and our main man Nikola Jokic is rolling in the triple-doubles, the world is a wonderful place. However, it’s the horrible losses like this past week’s Clippers scandal that leave us extremely frustrated.

Just when things seem to be moving along consistently, something like this happens making us question everything the Nuggets are doing. Is Coach Mike Malone using the right lineups? Did bringing back Paul Millsap throw off the team’s chemistry? Why can’t Mason Plumlee make a free throw?!

Seriously though, Mase, figure it out.

I’m certain the Nuggets coaching staff and front office ask themselves those same questions in these moments. They watch film of the errors to better understand what went wrong. They develop plans to prevent it from happening again, and work on developing new training drills while making time for practice on the areas where they are weak.

In this way, they’re working themselves through the struggle. They can see the light of day, and they’ve been able to work out a lot of their problems, but they still have blind spots tripping them up.

While I still get frustrated watching them blow an enormous lead and lose, I’m choosing to remain optimistic about their playoff run. They don’t have a big margin for error as the Western Conference standings is incredible competitive, but if they don’t struggle now, they won’t ever be able to make a solid run once they actually do make it into the post-season.

They need periods of struggle as they emerge so they can be at full strength once they’ve gotten past the biggest challenges lest they crumble, and have to go all the way back to square one.

Our Nuggets have gotten themselves mostly out of their cocoon, but they still have a little way to go. They’re so close!