What is better than resilience?

February 20, 2017 / Leadership
Share

Savannah is the definition of resilient. She’s has averaged more than 7 painful surgeries per year for the last 7 years. Once a vibrant athlete, today she is facing another round that may permanently rob her of the use of both her arms. She experiences constant pain.

Focused Leadership Consulting 2017

Yet, her mantra is “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional.” So, she smells the roses, notices the birds and bees, loves her dog and feels great compassion and a powerful urge to serve, truly every day.

Today Savannah had a breakthrough that I would consider a miracle of anti-fragile (see AntiFragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb). She asked the question: What would it take to actually thrive instead of just not give in? What lies beyond resilient?

I asked her what message she might want to leave the world if she had a chance. At first her message was, “Don’t be a victim” no matter hard it gets, don’t succumb to self-pity.

Today, as she considered that not giving in is resilient, but what would it take to be Anti-Fragile? If resilient is getting up when we are knocked down. What lies beyond resilient?

Perhaps anti-fragile means being grateful for the clarity and growth that being knocked down brings. Savannah sometimes has to search deeply for gratitude for her pain.  At times it’s challenging to be grateful about the possibility of never sitting atop her beloved horse again. Her gratitude must be for whatever gifts lie in that possibility while she doggedly remains committed to this present moment.

When Savannah is able to facilitate the sprouting of new hope in an encumbered soul, she is grateful. She is able to serve because of her journey, precisely because she has been knocked down.

That’s anti-fragile. Gratitude for the struggle is anti-fragile.

Anti-fragile is one of the keys to truly taking fierce ownership in your life. Fierce ownership requires us to forgo blame, be committed to transparent truth, and the fortitude to choose love over fear over and over again. Anti-fragile is only possible if we are willing to truly step into fierce ownership of our experience of life. When we get to bear witness to the powerful, vulnerable, humble spirit who seeks to be anti-fragile, we are deeply blessed.

To your inspired journey.