Do you ever play the lottery?
I do, once in a while.
We all know that the chances of winning the lottery are slim. Yet, we do it anyway.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced that feeling you get when you’ve bought a lottery ticket, and you haven’t checked on the winning numbers just yet.
You know what I’m talking about – it’s that feeling of hope. And, with that hope, is the recognition that there are challenges in life that maybe you’d like to be rescued from.
And then you have to start to wonder what it would be like to win the lottery and have all those minor difficulties, all those aches and pains, magically airlifted out of your life.
It’s okay to admit that sometimes your life might feel overwhelming, especially in recent months, with the global pandemic affecting all of us.
But, do we really want to cheat our way out of overcoming every difficulty? What would we become if we never had to face a challenge or difficulty?
There’s a great quote by the author, Christopher Paolini:
“It’s impossible to go through life unscathed. Nor should you want to. By the hurts we accumulate, we measure both our follies and our accomplishments.”
In other words, if we never had to endure hardships, we’d never build resilience.
Resilience is this idea of being able to persevere or recover from setbacks – sometimes it’s the term that’s used when we bounce back or bounce forward.
Sometimes, we attribute getting back on track as just good luck.
Random luck of the draw – like winning the lottery.
More often though – and people who are resilient understand this best of all – you can actually make your own (so-called) luck.
There are some practices that strengthen resilience, such as: meditation, gratitude, and reframing.
I know what you’re thinking – easier said than done. That’s true, but building your resilience doesn’t have to be a huge, daunting project.
It can actually be quite simple.
I’m reminded of a story a friend once told me about his son, who was an A-student in grade 8, but then hit some difficulties and became a D-student in grade 11.
My friend’s son told him about a time when he sat for a biology test that he hadn’t studied for. When he got the exam, he looked it over and made the decision to sit for the exam, even though his chances of doing well were slim to none (kind of like winning the lottery).
The first thing he did, was search through the exam for multiple choice questions. He figured he’d at least have a chance there. Sadly, there were no multiple-choice questions. Next, he looked for and found a fill-in-the-blanks section. He completed this part of the exam using word association. It was a stretch, because he didn’t really understand the subject matter, but he did it anyway.
By this point, he knew things weren’t going well because frankly he just didn’t know much about the topic he was being tested on. But he stuck with it, because a voice inside of him told him to just stay with it and do his best.
As you’ve probably guessed, he failed.
So now, you’re wondering what the point of this story is – I mean he failed, that’s not inspiring, right?
Failing the exam is not the point. The point is this idea of resilience being the thing where you make your own luck.
Resilience is this idea of following through on difficult, or even impossible, tasks even when things don’t look good.
Things might not look pretty, or have the exact outcome we’re hoping for, but we can go for it anyway, and get closer to our goals than if we had just given up and not tried.
We are all resilient, and we all inherently have the ability to stay with it, and know that whatever is weighing us down, this too shall pass.
Maybe not perfectly, but it will pass.
If you’d like to learn more about resilience and strengthening your resilience, please check out solutiondevelopmentgroup.com/resilience.