This week, after paddling 20 plus miles in 100 degree heat index getting ready for next month's New York City Autism race, I realized the meaning of true resilience. Most people mistake resilience with being tough. Or perhaps sucking up the pain when you want to stop. Resilience encompasses aspects of being mentally tough but goes way beyond what people may think. Resilience is an art or skill that needs constant refining and polishing. When I finished with my paddle, and I was happy that I did, I reflected for a while on the things that I had taken for granted that day. Taking things for granted is something that we all do. Perhaps not all the time. But the minute you lose concentration on what you are doing, or let your mind wander in a different direction than where you wanted it to go, you start taking things for granted. Taking things for granted is the next worst thing to not appreciating the things (or people) around us. It's the opposite of resilience, since taking advantage of people can become a bad habit that takes us away from truly looking at ourselves with a constructive, perhaps even critical eye. When we take things for granted, we lose the gratitude battle and when we lose the gratitude battle, we begin to move away from truly living and appreciating the present moment. When I finished paddling last Saturday, I realized (and this is after looking at the pictures from the training) that I had not truly concentrated on my form throughout the paddle. By not concentrating 100% on form and solely concentrating on going faster, I actually paddled slower. What's even worse, I was so concerned about my speed over ground that I did not fully appreciate all the incredible things that I had seen that morning, including the picture for this post.
How many of us glance over what's important in our present lives? We try and go too fast and fail to see the beauty in the process. The thrill of learning something new. In general, we tend to go too quickly and as a result take the process for granted. The journey. We have a saying in the SEALs and probably applies to other disciplines as well; Slow is smooth; and smooth is fast; so slow is fast...
When you take things for granted, your life speeds up and you begin going down the road of insatiability. You become a glutton for people, things, food, alcohol; whatever gets in front of you. Your assignment for this week is to write down at least one thing (person) that you take for granted. How does that make you feel? What steps can you take to reverse this situation? Are there other things that you take for granted?
Remember that resilience is something that doesn't just happen. It takes introspection, work, and an honest swim buddy to tell you if you stray from the course. If you can't find anything that you take for granted, chances are your swim buddy (or significant other) can point you in the right direction!
Enjoy this week's assignment!
P. S. If you want to join our discussion on the forum, here it is.