I normally use my drive time to think instead of talking on the phone, listening to music or podcasts. This time is quite valuable to me as it has proven to contribute largely to great strategies and decision making techniques I’ve used to grow personally and professionally.
As I was driving to a meeting this week, the word Resilience came to the forefront of my thoughts. Over the past few weeks I had been researching and studying successful people I admire to try and narrow down what in particular differentiates them from everyone else with the same aspirations.
Naturally, as soon as I got to my computer, I looked up the definition of resilience and here’s what I found:
Resilience is the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.
I want you to stop right now…
Think of a person you most admire and tell me if this description isn’t spot on with what you know about who they are. Tell me if their story doesn’t have some form of “bounce back” theme to it. I bet it does.
And here’s why…
Many of the people we value are those who have shown us their ability to keep going when the odds are against them; those who don’t give up after hearing NO; and those that are able to focus on the positive things even when everything around them seems to be crumbling down.
You see the people you look at in admiration have learned how to pick up the pieces – put them back together and make awesomeness happen!
That is resilience!
Looking back at my own hardships, I’ve come to realize that being a leader isn’t something you have to be born with. It is who you become as a consequence of practicing resilience. It is a choice you make after having maneuvered through difficult circumstances and making a conscious decision to use those lessons to help others.
That is how leaders are formed and that is what separates them from others.
Here’s the lesson: Anyone and everyone at some point in their lifetime gets knocked down, discouraged, hurt or rejected. The barrier between you and your goals is rooted in your ability to make the decision to get back up.
You always have a choice. You can either become consumed by your hardship or make your hardship a story you tell after you’ve bounced back from it.