Change the Narrative

Merriam-Webster refers to resilience as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. An ability to roll with the punches, according to Mayo Clinic. My understanding of resilience prior to this week was that it was something that people were just gifted with, like good eyesight or height. You either had it or you didn’t. Yet, in researching resilience I have learned that isn’t the case. Sure, some people tend to be more resilient because they are naturally optimistic. But what I have found is that resilience is a skill, something that can be honed.

Resilience is not some magical quality; it takes real mental work to transcend hardship. There’s growing evidence that the elements of resilience can be cultivated.

A perfect example of resilience is Kendrick Norton, a former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle. July 4th of this year Kendrick was driving his Ford F250 when it hit a concrete barrier and landed on its roof, his left arm pinned by the truck had to be amputated above the elbow. In a recently released video Kendrick said, “You’re still alive, don’t be angry. You’ll get better,” he continued. “I’m trying to handle it the best I can. Don’t be down about it ’cause that’s not gonna fix anything.”

And here’s the key phrase that he says, that perfectly sums up resilience: “Though the injury was far from ideal, especially as a professional football player, Norton said he was never in denial about it and instead, changed his outlook on the situation.” Kendrick changed his outlook, he reframed his thinking. “How we view adversity and stress strongly affects how we succeed, and this is one of the most important reasons that having a resilient mindset is so important. (1)” The Greater Good Science Center has collected many resilience practices on their website, they have identified 12 resilience practices combined into five categories. The number one practice is change the narrative. Kendrick changed the narrative. His NFL career over at 22 before even playing a game was most likely a devastating experience. But this is what Kendrick has said, “But I realize that I will not be able to play for anyone. We are working past that, you know. That reality is sinking in. I am alive and I am grateful. Now I want to organize a blood drive.”

He changed his thinking to one of gratitude, grateful to be alive. He is actively practicing the skill of resilience. And so can you, you have it within you. I’ll leave you with this last thought.

Resilience isn’t a single skill. It’s a variety of skills and coping mechanisms. To bounce back from bumps in the road as well as failures, you should focus on emphasizing the positive.” Jean Chatzky

are you relentless?

laen chair JUL 2013Good Tuesday morning to you! I hope you had a great three-day weekend. I took Friday as a vacation day and had a nice four-day break.

relentless: showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relentless)

“no abatement” is the key part of that definition. Relentless is often used in a negative sense, but here it is very positive. Positive, when it applies to our efforts to learn, grow, and become more effective in what the Lord has called us to do with our lives. We have the capacity to grow and learn no matter our age or station in life. We have the capacity to change. Not only do we have access to the knowledge required, but we have Christ in us as well. We have no excuse to not be growing and becoming more effective. However, we have to develop that attitude of pursuing growth in a relentless manner. The reason is that there are so many things that distract us and get in our way. Usually it is our own laziness.

So, how do you make sure that you are on a pathway of learning and growth? How are you becoming more effective, daily, in what you have been called to do?

Are you relentless in your pursuit of growth? Growth that is for the glory of God and to serve others in your community?

Blessings on your week!

BG

a seeker of knowledge and wisdom

waterfall at LAMGood Friday morning to you!

Think about the following for a few minutes:

“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, . . .” – Proverbs 22:17

“Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.” – Proverbs 23:12

“. . . with those who take advice is wisdom.” – Proverbs 12:10

So today:

Are you seeking wisdom?

Are you seeking knowledge?

Are you seeking advice from wise people?

If you aren’t, why not? Develop the heart of a learner, be one who pursues wisdom, learn how to humble yourself and seek the advice of others. Begin to grow.

Have a great weekend!
BG