It can be tough

I read this yesterday and wanted to copy and paste it so my readers can just read it! In this world of sleek advertising and media telling us what we should do, look like and achieve I loved reading this about the ‘normal’ people, those of us living each day as it is.  May you be encouraged and inspired.

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It is from Joshua Beckers Blog   http://www.becomingminimalist.com/bad-situation/

Here’s to All of You Trying to Make the Most of a Bad Situation

I have a beautiful friend. She is the single-parent of two equally beautiful daughters. Her husband left when the second was born with special needs.

Coincidentally, my neighbor is a single father of two. His wife left him, choosing a life of drugs over a life of responsibility.

My guess is you will never hear the names of these two amazing individuals. You’ll probably never read their blogs or follow them on Facebook. And their faces will probably never be on the cover of a magazine. But I can tell you, without a doubt in my mind, they both work harder at life than I do.

This past Saturday, I got up early to do some work on a new book. In the early morning hours while the sun was still rising, I drove to a quiet location to write. Enroute, I passed a young man, significantly overweight, out jogging. He was sweating profusely. And I was inspired because of it.

His body-shape isn’t the type you’ll see on posters in the local fitness center. But here was a guy, up early on a Saturday morning, working hard to change his life while most of my neighbors were still sleeping.

One more story.

Last week, a colleague of mine led a funeral for a friend who had recently died of a drug overdose. The deceased was a young man who had been born addicted to heroin.

Through no fault of his own but because of the actions of his mother, he waged war against addiction every day of his life. Some days, he won. Some days, he lost. In the end, it took his life.

As my colleague shared his story, he summed it up this way:

Our lost friend will, unfortunately, be remembered by most as a drug addict. But that’s not the man I knew. Quite the opposite in fact. I will remember forever my friend as the man who fought endlessly against an addiction unfairly passed onto him. I will remember him as a man who worked hard to make the most of a bad situation.

Our world loves to glorify beautiful people. We look up to and praise those who have seemingly accomplished much in visible measures. We lift up as role models and examples those who excel in sports, write books, own the stage, or excel in business and politics. And I don’t want to look down on those accomplishments and those examples, there is much we can learn from them.

But let’s face it: Life can also be messy. And not everybody gets to live in the limelight as one of the beautiful people. Some people find themselves struggling to just tread water through very difficult circumstances.

Sometimes, the trials we face in life are a result of our own doing. Sometimes they are a result of a wrong committed against us. But there is little doubt we are surrounded by people facing unfair circumstances in every direction we look.

And many of them, those fighting to make the most of it, deserve our respect and our praise. But they are often overlooked by a society that often praises all the wrong measures of success.

So allow me today… in my own small little way… to recognize those of you who are working hard to make the best of a bad situation. We see you and we applaud you.

Here’s to those of you raising kids without the support of a responsible partner.

Here’s to those of you striving to overcome the cycle of poverty or addiction in your family.

Here’s to those of you working two jobs to provide your children with more opportunity than you had growing up.

Here’s to those of you working to change the unhealthy habits that have defined your life for too long.

Here’s to those of you who have been treated unfairly in the workplace and are working hard to start again.

Here’s to those of you battling a disease that seeks to destroy your body.

Here’s to those of you caring faithfully for a loved one who is nearing the end.

Here’s to those of you who have been knocked down by life, but are staggering to get back up.

We see you and we applaud you.

Not only that, we also thank you. Thank you for inspiring us. And thank you for working hard to make life better—not just for yourself, but for those closest to you. We need more people like you in our world.

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Perseverance in a new year

Welcome to a New Year.  Things are gearing up in my household for a new year, which is exciting and scary at the same time.

As the new year of school begins, we were reflecting on the word ‘Perseverance’.  What does that look like in our kids at home, kids at school and even for us as adults?

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For me, it challenged me to persevere with my blog, to keep using it as a platform to encourage others out there as we navigate a complex world, trying to keep it simple.

We know that grit and perseverance is a bigger indicator of a child’s success than their IQ.  We know that grit and perseverance is something that children – and I am thinking adults – struggle with in our instant society. We know that grit and perseverance can be taught, but the exact how of that is still being investigated. In some ways it is a mystery and it makes me want to do more reading about it!

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I viewed this 5 minute clip and enjoyed the grit and perseverance in it. May you find the time to watch it and even share it with your kids. Mine loved it!

 

 

 

Grit and revision is necessary

It has been a busy day with little time for reading or reflection! But I have been reminded lately of the power of revision! I had the lovely opportunity to chat to a friend about life and some of the practical tools positive psychology has to offer. As we were talking I realised that you don’t just get it and have it, it has to be practiced again and again.

Each week I make sure I attend my Pilates class, it just helps to stop the aches and pains and keeps my ‘core’ strong.
If I skip a week it always surprises me how much harder it is and what strength is lost, it obviously needs to be done again and again.
I was reflecting that many of the good things in life are like that!

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Photo Credit: Physioworks.com.au

So along with this thought I am cutting and pasting a very early blog that I wrote on grit. May you enjoy it as you practice grit again and again!!

Grit…. July 14th

I have continued to think on the all important topic of grit!  It was very interesting! I was teaching in a year 6/7 class on Monday,  introduced the word ‘grit’ and  most kids had no idea of what it meant. I was then thinking about the general lifestyle of kids this age and wondered how much grit was needed?  I am still reflecting on that one and looking at my own kids! How often in this world of instant gratification, fast moving computer games and constant entertainment are kids needing to have grit? I have noticed in my own kids that when some learning situations get difficult, they respond differently.  Some keep going and some want to throw in the towel!

Last summer my daughter was involved in a treasure hunt!  A water melon had been buried in the sand at the beach.  It had been carefully buried within a certain boundry with landmarks noticed so that it would be found again and enjoyed for morning tea! Alas, despite these measures it was not found!

My daughter fits the quote that I read in an study by Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews and Kelly, titled “Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals”.  “High achievers are thought to be triply blessed by ‘ability combined with zeal and with capacity for hard labour.”

She was not happy leaving the beach knowing that a watermelon was there!  That afternoon we all as a family trekked down to the beach with shovels for the search!  We set up a methodical way of digging turning the beach over and over!  After 45 minutes we all decided that someone had stolen it!  Someone had watched it being buried and then decided to dig it up!  But no, she kept going, adament that it had to be there somewhere.

Can you imagine the shrieks of delight when the shovel deflected in the sand and the green outer was seen! We were all ecstatic but none more than her!  The interesting thing: it was not her ability to dig that brought about sucess but the grit she showed!

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“Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course.” (the same paper as quoted above).

The hpothesis is that grit is essential to high achievement!

What do you think?