Are you a person who finishes what you start? Do you continue to persevere in your work and relationships even when the going gets tough? Being a person who is resilient is a very valuable character trait that requires practice. We live in our world where we give up SO EASY. I heard that the average college student stays at their first job for less than a year. Over half of the marriages in America end in divorce. Think about how many different diet plans there are and how many people have tried them all. How many times have you written down a goal only to forget about it a week later? We train ourselves to GIVE UP. We don’t like to continue anything that is hard.
Today in church we learned about resilience. The definition of resilience according to the American Heritage Dictionary is: “the ability to recover quickly from illness, change or misfortune.” It also means: “The property of a material than enables it to resume its original shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed.
Think about a flower that goes through a serious storm with lots of wind and rain and ends up looking as beautiful as ever the next day. That is a flower that is RESILIENT. Many of the times, only a few of the flowers actually make it. It’s the same way in life. Being resilient is HARD. Here are a few examples of famous people who ended up successful after being very resilient:
- Walt Disney: He was fired from his writing job because his boss said “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.
- Michael Jordan: He was cut from his high school basketball team. He went onto say, ““I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I have missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
- Bethany Hamilton: She was a young surfer who lost her arm to a shark and 2 years later went on to win first place in the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships.
According to one article I read: “a resilient person would adjust to the circumstances enabling him to move ahead and to thrive no matter the current circumstances.” (squidoo.com) I think all of us could agree that we could work on being more resilient. I challenge you to not give up the first time you get rejected or when your situation gets hard. You have to keep fighting in order to succeed. I read an article on three ways to be more resilient and I thought it was excellent!
- Optimism: The road to success is long and hard. When things get hard you have to stay positive. You have to keep your mind focused on the good things. It’s important to remember why you started what you are trying to finish. If your job is starting to challenge you in ways you weren’t expecting, remember why you started the job in the first place. If you marriage isn’t as happy as it used to be, remember why you married them and do whatever it takes to make it better.
- Tough-minded: You have to be able to handle NO’s and you have to be able to handle criticism. I remember being told that I was a very bad writer by a professor in college. After that I was determined to practice. Now years later I am letting all of you read my writing. I decided to use what they had to say to encourage me instead of discourage me.
- People are what they think: People who are resilient don’t use words like “I can’t” or “Impossible.” They tell themselves that they CAN do this and they fight for it. They remind themselves of the talents and gifts God gave them to achieve their goals.
My brother, Jordan Kemper, is one of the most resilient people I have ever met. He became a business partner in a company called USANA as a 22 year old college student and received many NO’s from potential customers in the beginning. He could have given up so many times but he didn’t. Jordan now is one of the most successful people in the company, has won countless awards, has spoken in front of thousands of people, and has surpassed his own goals. Jordan even made the million dollar club this year! My brother taught me that if you don’t give up, you can do anything. Jordan is successful not because he is the smartest or the best salesman (even though he is very talented), but because he works hard, loves people, and is resilient in his work. He doesn’t let any criticism or rejection keep him from reaching his goals. People who meet Jordan think life must be so easy for him, but its not. To this day Jordan faces criticism and rejection that would make most people quit on the spot. His ability to keep going is one of the main reasons he as successful as he is.
My challenge to you today is to be more RESILIENT. You need to stay true to your commitments, vows, and promises. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you are struggling right now with keeping your goals take a moment to step back, re-exam, and come up with a game plan that you can keep. After that you need to practice being resilient. Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t smart enough, good enough, creative enough, or talented enough. If you keep fighting…you will succeed.
Love to Love,