In the early evening of December 10, 1914, a raging inferno ripped through Thomas Edison's factory, sending blue-green flames into the night and destroying his life's work.
After arriving on scene, Edison told his son, "Go get your mother and her friends, they'll never see a fire like this again." When his son hesitated, Edison continued, "It's all right, we just got rid of a lot of rubbish."
When the New York Times interviewed him during that exhausting night, Edison said, "Although I'm over 67 years old, I'll start all over again tomorrow." And he did, the very next morning.
It wasn't easy. He had lost about $23 million in today's dollars, there were no "backup files" to his lab's work, and his insurance only covered about a third of the damages. He didn't fire one employee, took out a sizable loan from his friend, Henry Ford, and set to work.
His company boomed with innovation and by 1918 was creating over $10 million in revenue.
Time and time again, history shows us that struggle begets creativity.
You do not have to be an Edison or an inventor to share the character, attitude, and resilience that makes thriving in times of chaos a possibility. But you do have to get your mind and Spirit focused.
Resilience should be treated like a muscle. It should be stretched, exercised, flexed and look good naked.
As most of you know by now, it's not just our workouts that matter to our muscles and energy levels, it's what we feed ourselves.
The same is true of resilience.
What you feed your mind is imperative to improving your capacity for being dependable, creative, resourceful, and hardy.
So what can you feed your resilience "muscles"?
Mindfulness, conviction, faith, prayer and stoicism are common for men and women who most of us strongly correlate with being resilient.
If you need proof or a model of this, simply look within you for an example and then investigate it.
Who do you think is resilient? Study them. Don't just look at their resilient "moment(s)". Investigate what they do (or did) to create a structure for resilience to flower?
What's their "food"? Look for the themes and principles behind the actions that led to their resilience. That is what you can build in your own life: mirror the principle, not necessarily the action itself.
The book Resilience: Hard Won Wisdom For Living A Better Life by Eric Greitens is also a great place to start.
It is based on a collection of letters from one Navy SEAL (who eventually become the Governor of Missouri) to another SEAL buddy dealing with PTSD. You could consider it a Resilience "manifesto" if you needed one.
As you're figuring out by now, resilience takes practice.
Don't wait until you need it, by then it's too late. Develop resilience daily.
The people who depend on you need this to be so.
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