The ability to bounce back. Life is filled with challenges, some are devastating, some merely challenging. To acquire or maintain inner calm and satisfaction will require resilience.
Resilience when applied to something material implies returning to an original shape. Humans never return to a previous state after dealing with a life challenge. Challenges shape us, form us, harden, and strengthen us.
One of my top strengths is perseverance: finishing what I start, moving forward in spite of challenges, and taking pleasure when completing tasks. (Crossing a task off my list is satisfying.)
Many years ago my perseverance strength leaned more toward stubbornness. I wanted to finish what I started. I wanted to move forward. But I wanted it my way. When a life challenge interceded I became angry, more stubborn, and did my best to overcome it, following my original plan.
Then I discovered the beauty of resilience. Absorbing the unexpected challenges of life and molding them to my end goal allowed me to reach my target, albeit a slightly revised version of my original target.
I began to realize that stuff was going to happen despite my best efforts. Absorb the hit, change what I could, conform and embrace what I couldn’t change, and learn from the experience. Stubborn resistance became flexible resilience.
A wonderful reminder of the power of resilience is the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,The courage to change the things I can,And the wisdom to know the difference. ~Reinhold Niebuhr
Thanks for joining me in this brief journey of strengths focus. What are your top strengths? Can you find a way to use them today?