It’s a Grand Life if You Don’t Weaken

This was the phrase that my grandmother lived by. It sustained her when she left  a small village in Scotland at eighteen, having never left Scotland before, to take  a boat from Southampton, England heading for  South Africa to marry a childhood sweetheart. She ran a hotel, a general store, nursed family and friends through malaria and dysentery, raised two children, lost her husband at age 54 and lived vibrantly until the age of 94 when she died of a stroke. She played golf off a scratch handicap and was a  demon tennis player. She rarely raised her voice and pursued life with enthusiasm and forward thinking. She personified resilience, commitment and and motivation on a daily basis. Can success be achieved any other way? Every part of my grandmother’s being –mind, body and spirit greeted every day. Consider how utterly unrealistic and self-defeating it is to try to act upon New Year(or any other time of year) resolutions without an attitude of complete engagement. Consider being a leader in your organization and only bringing a fraction of yourself to work everyday and hoping that that will be enough to create a thriving business. Can sustained success emanate from such a model and how is there any joy or creativity in working in an environment where  enthusiasm and energy  are  in people’s boots?  Resilient people tap into a deep inner wellspring of motivation. My grandmother personified Vibrant Resilience. She had the three C characteristics of a stress hardy individual as described by psychologist  Suzanne Kobasa PhD. and her colleagues in the 1970’s. She saw opportunity in challenge; had a sense of control about managing change; and was committed to every step she took in life. In addition she had a high sense of purpose; a great sense of humor; and above all, a belief that life had a much greater chance of being an adventure if ” you just didn’t weaken“. Aspects of resiliency may be innate, but there are certainly strategies that can be learned to create a thriving life. It may not happen overnight, but approaching life with the attitudes above sure beats the alternative. Whatever your mission in life, cultivating resilience not only improves experience of the present, but opens doors to the future. Go Grandma!!!

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