The Opportunity within Chaos

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Rolling With the Punches, Part 1

Over the past couple years, we’ve all heard the buzzword “resilience.” The term has often been used in reference to healthcare and “essential” workers. Yet resilience applies to us all, not exclusive to the ring of a pandemic situation, but rather to the blocking and countering of punches in everyday life. Every one of us has experienced adversity. To get where we currently are in this moment, we’ve already overcome a number of challenges.

But were we resilient, or did we merely endure? Consider current challenges at work, or at home, or with the ongoing struggle with inflation and housing. Whatever the challenge, are we trying to just survive? Are we taking the beating with grim determination to get it over with? Or are we learning new skills and strategies while bouncing back from the ropes? Are we adapting and growing?

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Clay Center identifies resilience as facing hardship while maintaining vigor and positivity. Endurance, meanwhile, is recognized as the tolerance of extended exposure to said hardship. While resilience may potentially increase our endurance, the reverse might not be so.

In this TED Talk, ironman triathlete Katie Ingram, PhD, expresses the brittle frailty in merely trying to endure. If squaring off against obstacles or hardships, aspire to do more than just making it through. Consider what skills or talents this challenge could help us develop.

See hurdles as more than just gruesome tests of survival. See them for what they are–opportunities.

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
– Robert Jordan

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