Character Quality of the Month – Resilience
Recovering from adversity
Your decisions will be as good as your understanding of the facts. An engineer designs a structure based on the known properties of metals, wood, and other materials. A chef’s confidence in a recipe rises from the chef’s understanding of particular food combinations. Without the truth, it is difficult to make confident decisions.
- Learn as much as you can in your field of activity. Gain experience and listen to advice from others. Your understanding of what is true will build faith for daily decisions.
- Research your ideas so that you can draw from a broad range of experience. Avoid the habit of guessing or assuming.
- Find others who have attempted similar tasks and learn from their failures and successes.
- Listen to critics and be willing to adjust your course.
- Be open to new ideas, even if you must admit you were wrong.
A resilient person can stand by a decision or goal even when people or initial results cast doubts. As ideas are tested and modified by experience, a person develops a clearer view of his or her surroundings and a more accurate perspective from which to make decisions. To the best of your knowledge, base your decisions on what is true, then stand by that truth without compromise.
- Be willing to suffer short-term loss for long-term gain.
- Do not lose heart when faced with obstacles.
- Do not take criticism personally. Develop the humility to change when you are wrong and endure when you are right.
- Remember that anything worth having is worth the time and the effort required.
Do Not Worry
Many aspects of life lie beyond your immediate control. This uncertainty often leads to stress and worry. Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, focus on your area of responsibility. Base decisions on sound reasoning, surround yourself with friends and coworkers who can help you when you are in trouble, and take quick action to resolve problems when you discover legitimate reasons for concern.
- Determine what lies within your area of responsibility. Do not waste time and energy worrying about results you cannot control.
- Face problems as they arise.
- Remember, even failure can help you improve.
Know your neighbors. Resilient communities are made up of members who rely on one another for support in difficult times. To do this, you need to know your neighbors! Make an effort to know not only their names, but their backgrounds, preferences, and personalities. Then, when a challenge arises, check in with one another and seek ways to meet needs.
Lead with your own style. There is often chaos after a disaster or difficult event, and leaders are needed to step up and help the community reorganize and respond. Some people are great at being leaders in the traditional sense—making decisions, delegating tasks, and being a voice for the people. Others are strong in supportive roles, perhaps doing behind the scenes organization or bringing needs to others’ attention. Know yourself and your leadership style so that you can contribute to reorganization and growth in the community.
Bridge gaps in services. When a challenging situation arises, services or resources need to already be in place and operational to help fill the needs that arise from the problem. To prepare, take a look at your community and evaluate what needs or gaps in services exist. Consider not only what you and your family would need if adversity arose, but also think about the more marginalized members of your community. Then, do what you can to fill those gaps before they are needed. You might serve on a board, contribute financially, or provide some other kind of support to the development of community structures and programs that will tangibly prepare your community to be resilient for future challenges.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life
Find out more about EDG’s Character by Design program: https://www.edg.net/about/character-by-design/