The Gift that Keeps Giving
As I was reading through some notes from professional development sessions of decades ago, I rediscovered this story.
Have you ever noticed a dandelion that anchored itself in the crack of a parking lot? Imagine, a flower growing in a limited amount of fertile ground, and thriving. It thrived in less than optimal conditions because the environment has enough for resilience to take root. In this situation, the wind blew the seed and it landed in a less than optimal environment, but as long as it rained and the sun shone upon it, it grew. And so it is with us.
Like a dandelion, we have arrived in an environment and as long as that environment has enough to satisfy our needs, we can thrive. However, when we continually feel stressed out or run over by our circumstances, even the hardiest will succumb to despair. While it is important to acknowledge distress and pain, that is not the same a dwelling on it. We can acknowledge the challenge and emerge stronger for it. Therefore, we have an obligation for cultivating the environment of resilience, for our children and ourselves.
Resilience is a gift that keeps on giving. It is an attitude, a perspective and a set of approaches that anchor us in our circle of influence. It is not the absence of distress or difficulty. It is the ability and willingness to adjust and grow following adversity. And tipping the scale from vulnerability to resilience happens as a result of one person or one opportunity. Unless we do so, we may become discouraged, alienated, and disenfranchised and relate to the world in very afflicted ways.
Since people thrive when they know all the ways they are strong, it is time to take inventory of the assets we possess. It is time to awaken those assets and demonstrate an unshakeable belief in what we have to contribute. Then, unleash our greatness in a way your family. Colleagues or friends have never experienced before. And for our children, it is best to invest our time where they have the most potential to shine. There can be no excuses accepted because everyone has assets waiting to be discovered and shared.
As we discover our strengths, ask what does strength feel like? When we do it, we feel effective. Before we do it, we look forward to doing it. While we are doing it, we feel curious, eager and focused. After we have done it, you feel fulfilled, authentic, whole and vibrant. Strengths can be found in our temperament or in our childhood memories. What activities drew us back time and time again? What thrilled us? Who did we hang out with? What situations engaged us? What academic subjects did we enjoy? And what did we feel intensely passionate about? Let’s start there.
Owner, The Fitzgerald Institute Of Lifelong Learning.