Definition of resilience - the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress 2: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. (Merriam-Webster)
How do you face misfortune or change in life without having a meltdown or just throwing in the towel? Last night I had the privilege of listening to a few of my interns share about their lives that included lots of tough times, too much change and little motivation to keep moving. So, what is it that makes the difference between an individual who bounces back and the person that quits or throws a tantrum?
I listed to a new friend share her story of being an immigrant who is Peruvian and Italian. She initially didn’t speak English very well and didn’t fit in her schools in Detroit. Yet, her passion for learning, discovering more about her heart’s dream of doing music and her family gave her the reason to never quit but to keep learning. She’s now become someone who inspires others to choose to not allow their perceived limitations to stop them from pursuing their dreams in life.
Another friend, who I’ve watched grow up over 12 years, shared her story of how she became passionate about learning, loving the arts and having an ongoing interest in always being a helper. She didn’t grow up in the best circumstances with having all step siblings. Yet, she became a person who didn’t make excuses, like most, but chose to always keep trying and making goals that always went way above the status quo.
I know that it’s too easy for those that struggle with being resilient to say that these types of people are just abnormally different and have that extra energy and ability to rock the world, regardless of their circumstances. The opportunity to become more resilient is for everyone who is willing to open their eyes, ask for help and find that special friend to walk with them.
I have another friend who has taught be so much about facing life threatening circumstances and how to endure failure by not quitting or blaming past life tragedies. He’s struggled with drug addiction, ongoing mental challenges and not necessarily the best support from family. I admit that not everyone is willing to walk with someone that is different. What amazes me is that as my new friend has dealt with his past issues he has become a vibrant person who ‘bleeds’ for strangers who are being abused.
The reality today is that too many assume someone else is always going to do everything for them. Hard work is clearly a fact of life and discovering that you don’t start at the top and having an attitude that understands nothing is ever beneath you is so key to becoming resiliient.
I admit that my passion to learn new words means I must google often and then must write out a definition. Yet, the journey of resiliency is an exciting life adventure. Everyday does bring new opportunities to learn, step up and help others!