Blog

Sometimes Resilience Means Standing Firm

As a motivational speaker on resilience and grit, I have learned that most people confuse resilient with flexible. They are different words with different meanings. The definition of resilient I like to use in my motivational speeches is “the ability to spring back into shape; elasticity.”

Flexible isn’t Resilient

There are all kinds of examples of flexible. A garden hose is flexible, and so is spaghetti. In a negotiation, we can say that one of the parties was flexible; students and teachers learned how to be flexible in high school Zoom meetings and certainly a yoga instructor must be flexible.

However, in being resilient, we must strive to get back to our original shape, or to be even better than we were before. Now, as the tragedies of 2020 begin to fade and the sunrise of 2021 optimism looms before us, we must learn how to spring back better than ever. Learning won’t be automatic.

On January 15, 2021, Professor Julian Birkinshaw wrote a guest article for Forbes on resilience. I want to quote part of a paragraph from the piece:

“But what does getting back to normal look like? There seem two very different answers to this question, depending on who you ask. Some argue that the pandemic has fundamentally changed how we live our lives – for better and worse – and that these new attitudes and behaviours are now so ingrained that we aren’t going back. Others see these new behaviours as temporary adjustments to a one-off shock, and predict a wholesale reversion to type as soon as the shock is over.”

Professor Birkinshaw gives us a map with a fork in the road. We can throw up our hands and say, “nothing will be the same,” or we can have the mindset to stand up, stand firm, and be decisive in our determination to claw our way back to the best of what we had.

The choice is clearly ours to make. What is your choice? I surely know mine.

This is Nothing

Many years ago, I was involved in a serious car crash that hurled me from the world of a Division I football player and full-contact martial artist to a quadriplegic. If you would like, you may think of it as 2019 as it got slammed into 2020.

I awakened from the shock of my accident to discover every movement I had learned from childhood, every instinct I took for granted on the gridiron or in the ring was lost. It was from my hospital bed, the very moment I awakened that I developed my philosophy of Vision, Mindset and Grit.

I refused to see myself as a victim. I refused to see myself as having a life that was fundamentally change. I saw, instead, a resilient person who would shake off the worst of what was thrown at me, and that I could “spring back into shape.”

I gave myself a vision of independence and wellness. I empowered myself with a mindset to develop – not arrogance – but high self-esteem, and purposed to do whatever it would take to continue working to achieve my goal, even if I faie.

These years later, I have success I could never imagine, the love of a wife and friends, and the ability to stand firm against the tide. We have all been through a rough patch, but none of us are resigned to the negativity and the hopelessness of what we went through last year.

 

 

Book Scott Burrows, resilience speaker by contacting him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169