Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rise Above...Learn it, Live it

April 19, 2009

Ms. Rita Levi Montalcini turns 100 years old. How cool is that! But what’s even better, is how she got there. It’s a little something we all have stirring within us…resilience. You see, Ms. Montalcini is a Nobel prize-winning scientist, and at her 100th birthday party, she sent a shout out to Mussolini. She said she wanted to “thank Mussolini for declaring me an inferior race.” You see, back in the day, when Ms. Montalcini was working at University, steadfastly breaking the boundaries of science with insight and experiments, she was suddenly considered an outcast, along with all the Jewish people at that time. And like many, she took the challenge. She set up a lab in her bedroom and worked. Worked, lived, loved, prospered…despite significant oppression. She is an inspiration to me. She reminds me that we all can rise above and prosper in the face of wretched circumstances. There’s been quite a bit of research about resilience. Resilience is an ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change. You know we can’t change the fact that stressful things happen, but we can change or adjust how we react to them. Just like Ms. Montalcini, people are confronted with horrid situations, and they more than survive, they thrive. Research shows that we are not born with resilience, it is not a trait, and that resilience is not extra-ordinary. It’s actually quite ordinary and learned behavior. So here are a few tips on how you can get it. Start with the relationships in your life. Are you surrounding yourself with positive successful people? Are the people in your life encouraging and supporting? Find a role model, a mentor. Do not continue to blame your mother or father! So your parents weren’t the best…remember the research…resilience is not inherited! Find someone who is an inspiration, a success, a person you want to emulate. Next, look in the mirror. Tell yourself you are a confident and successful person. Tell yourself you will be successful, you will work, you will persevere, you will rise. Believe it when you tell yourself these things, and soon it will be. Two more tips; remember in high school, when you were wondering how algebra and all the other nonsensical assignments were going to help you in real life? Here’s the answer…critical thinking and problem solving skills! My 14 year old daughter rolls her eyes when I tell her that! But it’s true. Learning critical thinking skills allows you to analyze and overcome any issue. Practice problem solving. Read about how other people solved life puzzles. Take yourself back to all those word problems and reading comprehension quizzes…it wasn’t just about the math problem or essay content, it was about learning critical thinking skills. One of my new friends reminded me of the fun of conundrums! Conundrums are not just fun drinking-game riddles. They are intricate and difficult problems to solve. And working on them helps you develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. I can’t resist…here is one of my favorites: If you try to fail, but you succeed, which have you done? Go ahead…work on that and post your answers! And now for the last and most difficult tip to achieve resilience: you must manage extreme feelings and impulses, or you will not be able to think! Do not allow that garbage to overtake your wise mind. Now take the four tips and face your next challenge! Learn to be resilient. Follow Ms. Montalcini’s advice: “Above all, don’t fear difficult moments…the best comes from them.” I’m ready…are you?


Anonymous said...

this is great