The Gift of Resilience

8028271055?profile=originalLast Christmas I wrote about Reciprocity and the influencing effect that giving gifts can have. This year I have chosen Resilience. Another hot topic at this time of year because of the strong emotions that flow and because I heard this cracker of a story just this week.

One of my mates, let’s call him Mick, grew up surfing the Northern Beaches of Sydney and always wanted to surf Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. This year he made it. He got himself onto a paddle board, paddled his way out with his son swimming alongside him and caught a wave. His family and many onlookers from the beach were in combined states of awe and tearful joy.

You see, Mick was a strapping young man. However in his twenties he developed a condition that essentially fused his spine. He can walk but he is not very mobile and has had lots of pain in his life. Pain levels have improved as medicine has improved but not the mobility. Despite this, with a trip planned with his beautiful wife to Hawaii to renew their wedding vows, he trained hard in the gym to improve his balance and then he gave it his best shot and he pulled it off. I have always admired him for his bright outlook on life, his can-do attitude. He never stops surprising me.

And then there was this.

On day two he was on the board again. Got into the wrong position and face-planted on the board. As he came out of the water, blood all over his face, his brother told him his nose was not in its rightful place. What did he do? He went back into the water and shoved his nose back into place. He was not wanting to worry anyone further because of all the blood and the looks that were already on their faces.

Mick, you are a great mate and you are awe-inspiring.

So, if things get tough for you this Christmas, I hope you can find the resilience to pull through. You might not know it, however, there is always someone observant enough to know of your pain and they will be admiring you for digging deep.

Christmas Cheers to you and your family.




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Bryan Whitefield works with strategic leaders across all sectors to help organisations harness uncertainty – uncertainty is the strategic leader’s best friend. He is the author of DECIDE: How to Manage the Risk in Your Decision Making. He is the designer of the Risk Culture: Build your Tribe of Advocates Program for support functions and the Winning Conversations Program for internal advisors. Both can be booked individually or in-house. For more information about Bryan, please click here.

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