Resilience Over Brilliance

Resilience Over Brilliance

Didn’t graduate with a 4.0 GPA? Is your degree not from a top Ivy League institution? Are you not fluent in seven different computer programming languages already? Well, I guess you’re screwed then, huh? Or at least that’s what some people are being misled to believe as they search for a new mission and career path.

This is not being written to demean our society’s brilliant scholars, or to act as if “smarts” don’t matter. But, it’s time for society to get back to respecting and honoring good old fashion merit, hard work, and resilience. In such a volatile, unrelenting, ambiguous economic climate, what asset is more vital than resilience? Last I checked, the one common thing that lead to success for the likes of Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie was resilience.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), resilience is defined as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It is essentially “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.

Like any learned skill, resilience requires some renewing and refreshing from time to time. Maintaining great resilience can help protect us from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It can also offset physical illness and injury. That said, here are FOUR WAYS TO BUILD & MAINTAIN RESILIENCE:

  1. NETWORK/MAKE CONNECTIONS– first, as much as is within your control, maintain a strong support system. This is your base for survival in life, and it requires as much from you as you demand from it. Bond with family, friends and close associates on a regular basis. Make those phone calls, write those emails, go out for lunch and coffee. Whatever it takes, keep nurturing those relationships. Beyond your support system, build bridges through new connections to get where you aspire to be.
  2. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF– maintain an active physical fitness routine, to care for your physical aspect. Just as important is the state of your mind and spirit, which can benefit from active prayer, meditation, yoga, or whatever form of inner-exercise you deem best for you (to me, prayer is the most powerful of all).
  3. KEEP THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE– always remember that life goes in cycles. This means that any negative experience you may have can and should be only temporary. During those times of adversity, count your blessings. Look at everything good around you, and appreciate the little things. This should help keep you balanced and hope filled.
  4. VOLUNTEER– why? Because volunteering will keep you humble and grateful, regardless of any struggles you might experience during times of transition. As the old saying goes, “do unto others as you want done unto you”. Give, and your hand is open to receive. But that’s beside the point. Helping others is great for the heart and soul.
If you’re still finding ways to persevere in life, in spite of any setbacks, then your resilience is already proven. Talk it up as one of your most valuable skills. It should definitely be listed as a keyword on your resume. Take care, be resilient, adapt and overcome.
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