I watch the Super Bowl every year even though I rarely watch any other games during the season. I love football, I just don’t have the patience to watch other people doing anything for three hours. This is why I also have trouble with movies. I would much rather be living life than watching other people live theirs.
In any case, during the Super Bowl there was an unexpected power outage that delayed the game for over 30 minutes. And it happened almost immediately after the already lengthy 30-minute half time break. As I listened to the commentators speculate over how this delay was going to negatively affect the game, and as I watched the coaches scream at poor officials who, of course, had not delayed the game on purpose, I started to think about the quality of resilience.
There is no way to accurately predict what life is going to bring us. I don’t care how many psychic qualities one claims to have, no one can accurately anticipate all of life’s twists and turns. What determines who wins and who loses in life is how they deal with the unexpected. Do you immediately look for someone to blame? Do you rant and rave and wish for a different reality? Do you check out and use setbacks as an excuse to give up?
Resilience is the quality of accepting life’s little surprises – happy or not – and re-calibrating your plans to account for the new reality. Yelling and screaming only increases your chances of a heart attack. Blaming makes you look immature and childish. Checking out and using setbacks as an excuse for failure is a terrible thing to do to yourself. No, the only way to deal with setbacks is to modify your plans.
For the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, this meant warming up on the sidelines until they could get back to work. For you and me, it could mean revising our business plans, looking to different people for assistance, or simply accepting the fact that there are some things in life we cannot control.
The good news is that if we see life as an adventure, a movie, or an exciting novel, we can reframe our setbacks and use them as testimonies of success later on. Isn’t it more exciting to listen to a successful person talk about how they overcame enormous odds and difficult situations than to hear some vanilla tale of easy triumph? Besides, such tales do not exist in reality. Anything worth having is a challenge to attain. There are no shortcuts.
So, may all of us use our challenges as fuel for our successes this week! Congratulations to the Ravens. And go follow your bliss!
I finally finished my first body of work: Black Billionaires. There are six of them. And I did them in various media in order to stay sharp during winter vacation. I hope you enjoy them.