We all know them. The immortals who get knocked down but refuse to quit. No matter how far down they are, no matter the odds, they fight back and often succeed. We call them resilient. What is it that makes them different from the rest of us mere mortals? If you ask them, they will look at you as if you’re crazy. To them its life. Resiliency is part of who they are. I admire those who make lemonade in grand style, brush off dust and consider it a part of a normal day.
Resiliency is a matter of mental toughness. They have confidence in themselves. They will take on a task although the odds are against them. The quote attributed to Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going,” is their motto.
The Great One, Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Resilient people take the shot every time. They adopt the dandelion trait. Have you noticed no matter how hard you work you can never get rid of all the dandelions in your yard? Dandelions are not afraid to fail. Sure, you might kill a few of them, (a dandelion fail) but they will just try again. You can’t keep a dandelion down.
Consider another sports analogy. Barry Bonds leads the all-time home run record with 762 home runs. He also had 1,539 strike outs. Hank Aaron comes in second place with 755 home runs and 1,383 strike outs. If you take away all of Hank Aaron’s home runs, he still logs 3,000 career hits. Those are great numbers. Gretzky, Bonds, Aaron, these guys were not afraid to let a few failures interfere with their success. The numbers suggest the more you fail the more likely you are to succeed.
Resilient people know how to eat elephants. It’s easy, one bite at a time. They break a huge goal into manageable, bite-sized pieces. They dissect the task, pulling it into segments and focus on one step at a time. If you consider the whole elephant, the goal appears impossible. But resilient people believe everything is possible. Barry Bonds wasn’t worried about the home run record. He was concentrating on the pitch and visualizing a home run.
Visualization is another trait. They can see themselves succeeding in graphic, vivid detail. The elephant will be eaten and they will throw a party. They know what they will serve (not elephant) and who will high-five them. In fact, they will celebrate any small victory. Have you ever seen a baseball player booed because he only got a hit? Resiliency means you find one or two good things and pat yourself on the back.
The final thing about resilient people? They have fan clubs. They surround themselves with others who celebrate, offer advice, and make them feel like they matter. We are social creatures and earning the approval of others is a big motivator.
Are you ready to fail your way to success? Come on, I’m rooting for you.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer