It’s the stuff that the more you have, the stronger you’ll be. No, it’s not muscles, but that can also make you stronger. I’m talking about something that allows a person to keep on going no matter the hardships they experience. I’m talking about resilience.
Resilience is the ability to pick yourself up after you fall. The person who is resilient doesn’t see failure in mistakes and unsuccessful outcomes. They see opportunity. They see those mistakes and unsuccessful outcomes as opportunities to learn from.
A few years back, I remember applying for medical school, and missing out because my interview score was not competitive enough against the other candidates. That was a real blow to my ego, dashed dreams and hopes. I never gave up on my dream of becoming a doctor, and even though it was painful and difficult initially, I saw the experience as one of the best learning opportunities in my life. It challenged me to reflect back on if I really was ready for a life of medicine.
Thomas Edison once quoted:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
This was in relation to his ideas before he successfully invented the lightbulb. Edison was resilient, he didn’t give up in spite of all the failures he’s suffered.
Suppose Edison gave up after 9999 attempts? He’d miss inventing the lightbulb, and someone else would have invented it.
There are those people I know that get given lots of bad stuff throughout life, and are still able to crack a smile after it all.
I have a friend, who must have had a lot of terrible things happen to him recently. Numerous failed relationships and a broken heart. I suppose you can’t really say someone is resilient for having just gone through failed relationships, and you could argue that it’s normal for that to happen. But not just failed relationships.
He had been working as well as a pick and packer at a grocery distribution centre. After the repetitive stress of doing it for over 3 years, he developed excruciating hand pains, pains so severe he was not able to continue work. This unfortunately resulted in surgery to his hands, and he was not able to do work, and had to go through hand rehabilitation and had to find another job at an office desk.
Having been with him, he did seem sad, but seemed to still be happy and thankful for where he was in life. Positive that he was still doing well. He told me about how university was going as well, and how he had learnt how to ride a motorbike.
Earlier this year, I found out that my friend had his fingers whipped off from his motorbike. An earlier relationship he had his heart on had failed, and my friend was heartbroken. Absentmindedly cleaning his motorbike chain with the engine running, his fingers got caught in the chains, and as a result, amputated 3 of his fingers. He’s lucky that the fingers were able to be reattached.
When I saw him, again he was smiling. We played at a net café, and he even joked about how he’d play better at Call of Duty if his fingers hadn’t been severed off.
After what my friend had been through, I would say he is one resilient guy. Smiling after all that’s happened.