“A good half of the art of living is resilience.” -Alain de Botton
The real estate mogul and star of “Shark Tank” Barbara Corcoran was asked what the difference is between a sales person making $40,000 a year vs. one making seven or eight million and she immediately zoned on an often overlooked quality – resilience. While she didn’t say the word directly, she pointed out that in her decades of experience, the person who is willing to face rejection and can recover quickly is the one who is going to make more deals and be more successful.
Resilience is a massively important ingredient in your own personal cocktail of epic living, and it’s one that I have placed more attention and focus on as I’ve gotten older. The reason is because I’ve noticed that certain tough experiences have derailed my mojo for waaaaay longer than they could have. Now I wish I could have back that lost time.
In any life, tough things are going to happen but shaking them off, learning from them and moving forward is such a valuable skill that most of us have not been taught. Really, in many ways I feel our culture encourages us to wallow in the sad feelings for quite a long time. Sure, it can be a healthy step to feel your sad feelings of rejection, disappointment, regret, etc. But the sooner you can learn the lesson and move forward, the more powerful and enjoyable life you’re going to have.
One of my spiritual mentors really got my attention once when she said, “I have nothing against sadness and despair, I just find them overrated.”
I’ve also noticed how our culture tends to rehash the details of a sad event each year on its anniversary, but we don’t rehash the details of a great event each year. Now of course, it’s important to remember bad things sometimes so we don’t make similar mistakes or simply honor those who suffered. But in your own life, if I asked you to name the five best days you’ve ever had, could you do it? And if you did have some great days come to mind, do you purposefully remember those days regularly to re-experience their awesomeness?
One of my favorite resilience stories is about the dancer Fred Astaire. He came to Hollywood for a screen test in 1933, and the tester wrote a memo that said: “Fred Astaire. Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” In later years Fred acquired that memo and framed it over his fireplace. Not only did Fred display resilience, he celebrated it.
Barbara Wayman, APR
BlueTree Media, LLC