Eric Greitens has an unusual combination to his four careers: Navy Seal, Rhodes Scholar, boxing champion and recognition as one of the top 100 American humanitarians. His admirable book “Resilience”: Get it Here.is a series of edited letters written between himself and one of his former SEAL comrades.
In it, he writes: “You will fail. Especially in the beginning. You will fail. And that’s not just OK, it’s essential. Without resilience, the first failure is also the last—because it’s final.
Those who are excellent at their work have learned to comfortably coexist with failure. The excellent fail more often than the mediocre.
They begin more. They attempt more. They attack more. Mastery lives quietly atop a mountain of mistakes.
The exceptional artist throws away hundreds of photographs. The exceptional writer wears out the eraser. The exceptional investor puts money into losing ventures. If every risk you take pays off, then you probably aren’t actually taking risks. We don’t want to excuse recklessness and foolishness as “just taking risks,” but we should understand that those who have built true excellence in their lives are always fighting at the edges of their ability.
What distinguishes the exceptional from the unexceptional? A willingness to fail, and an exceptional ability to learn from every failure.”
I cannot admit that I have learnt from every failure and moved forward immediately, but I am getting better at it, how about you? What words of wisdom have society written about our friend resilience, let’s have a look:
1. Fits in with the saying as soon as you stop learning you begin to die.
2. Asking for help powerfully from a place of strong relationship calls out to me, totally different to a barely heard impotent, Help Me…: Changes.
3. Nelson Mandela’s solution: Fall Down, Get Up every time.
4. It’s those who face the storm who build the greatest resilience and do it the fastest: Riders ON The Storm.
5. Steve Maraboli’s parents migrated to the U.S. to escape poverty in Chile. Steve Maraboli has created, contributed to, and impacted Humanitarian, Education, and Empowerment programs in 40 countries. Steve is a recipient of the prestigious United Nations Award for Philanthropy and continues to serve in support of Global Literacy and Education.
6. The unexpected moments in your life: therein lives your resilience: 10 Unexpected Songs.
7. The Japanese way of life, structured to succeed at all levels.
8. I know of Alain through his School of Life, of which there is a branch in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia. The School of Life titles its courses according to things we all tend to care about: careers, relationships, politics, travels, families. An evening or weekend on one of its courses is likely to be spent reflecting on such matters as your moral responsibilities to an ex-partner or how to resolve a career crisis: Art for Art’s Sake.
9. Resilience teaches you to trust in your innate wisdom.
10. As we age, we all get cracks: Express Yourself.
11. Mine come from Motorbike accidents, how about you?
12. I love nature when it is at it wildest, it reminds me that the calm is not when nature/life is at its most impressive: She’s like the Wind.
13. And some Jungian theory to up the ante.
14. They say it takes a special person to be a millionaire, and even a more special one to become one again after they lose everything the first time: Bounce Back.
15. Unbreakable, they are the resilient ones, it’s in all of us.
Life’s reality is that we cannot bounce back. We cannot bounce back because we cannot go back in time to the people we used to be. The parent who loses a child never bounces back. The nineteen-year-old marine who sails for war is gone forever, even if he returns. “What’s done cannot be undone,” and some of what life does to us is harsh…
You know that there is no bouncing back. There is only moving through. Fortunately, to be resilient we don’t need to go back in time.
What happens to us becomes part of us. Resilient people do not bounce back from hard experiences; they find healthy ways to integrate them into their lives.
In time, people find that great calamity met with great spirit can create great strength.”
After walking us through a mini-Physics lesson, Eric tells us that there’s no bouncing back. There’s only moving through.
We can never return to who we were before a challenging experience. What we—as resilient people—must do is integrate the experience into our lives and use the challenges as fuel for our own growth.
As Eric advises, “great calamity met with great spirit can create great strength.”
Another return to the last century for most of today’s playlist: We begin with Bowie, a new version of a Doors Classic by Snoop Dogg, then a Various Artists compilation of unexpected hits followed by Ten CC, Madonna and Dirting Dancing. We return back to finish in our time with Big Sean: Failure is a Bruise, Not a Tattoo.
Namaste until next time, my dear friends.