Almost daily I have heard people say, and read people post on social media, the same sayings over and over… “I can’t wait until this year is over!”…”This was the worst year ever!”…”What a wasted year!”…”Nothing turned out the way it was supposed to this year!” In all honesty, there have been days when I’ve muttered similar sayings myself. But here’s the thing, if we stay stuck in that mindset, we will completely miss the silver lining of 2020.
Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” While we all long for life to always remain calm and easy, the most character building opportunities we can face, come in times of trouble and unrest. It is often severe adversity that brings true perspective, which can inspire our greatest growth.
Did you know that studies have shown that the greatest indicators for success in school, work, and in life, are not high IQ scores and fine genes? Instead, the greatest indicators that a person will experience success in those areas are the depth of that person’s self-control, passion, and perseverance. The fact is, talent counts, but effort and resilience count more!
The silver lining of 2020 is that this year has presented an incredible opportunity for us to teach our children the skill and mindset of resilience. Teaching our children that regardless of the challenges that are thrown our way, regardless of how many times we get knocked down or fail, we can still persevere and find success, is one of the most valuable tools we can provide to our children. As a mom of four, trust me, I understand better than anyone how incredibly painful it is to watch our kids feel the pain of disappointment, to struggle with failure, and to shake in fear at scary situations – my instinct is to rush in and rescue them from their discomfort! But the joy that comes when time eventually reveals the character and growth that was built as a result of their enduring and overcoming the challenges they faced, far outweighs the discomfort of those moments. And 2020 has provided opportunity after opportunity for my kids, for your kids, for us, to learn that even when life doesn’t turn out exactly as we’d hoped, we have the strength and character to overcome and move forward. There is no obstacle (pandemic, remote learning, job loss, election drama, discouraging friends, learning disability, etc.) that can keep us from fulfilling our potential. If we don’t give up, if we don’t allow ourselves to melt down into despair, we can and will reach our dreams and goals.
If you’re interested, here are some great videos to watch about grit and resilience:
Why Effort Matters More Than Talent (6 mins)Be Resilient (3 mins)The Importance of Resilience (3 mins)