On grit, setbacks, and opportunities: A 2017 recap
If I were to encapsulate 2017 in a word, it would be “grit.” Merriam-Webster describes the word as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit.” TED Talk speaker Angela Duckworth defines it as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Futurist and author Andrew Zolli ties the word with resilience, which he says is what “gives you the strength to get up, wipe the dust off, and remount.” Grit sounds like a pretty useful life trait to have!!
This year was definitely a tough one for me. I stubbornly went through a scheduled workout despite my exhaustion, and that resulted in a foot injury last January. I ended up hobbling all throughout summer and the start of the rainy season as well. It was a real pain because this injury timeout forced to me stay cooped up indoors waaay longer than I wished to be. So what can you learn from my challenging 2017? Read on.
To everything there is a season
The first phrases of the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, verses 1-8 go, “There is a time for everything/ and a season for every activity under the heavens..” There is a season for joy. There is a season for sorrow. There is a season to move. There is a season to rest. Here’s a link to the complete passage if you’re interested. I’m not sure if it’s the Bible that also mentions, “This too shall pass,” but those four words encapsulate a truth, don’t they?
Run your own race
Aim to be better than you were yesterday. Aim to be better than you were last year. Everyone has a different starting point, so it isn’t advisable to keep comparing yourself with your peers. You have no idea about the challenges others face, so just focus on your unique set of concerns. If you make it a point to always take care of yourself anyway, it’s inevitable that your direction will be forward.
A setback is a setup for a comeback
Fitness-wise, there are so many things you can still do even with an injury (provided you check with your doctor first!). My foot fracture led me to discover lots of foot-injury friendly workouts on YouTube. Those are lifesavers!
Your downtime is also the perfect time to learn skills you’ve always been meaning to tackle. Some cool online learning portals include FutureLearn, Coursera, edX, and Skillshare. Learn everything from graphic design to painting to interpersonal communications to microeconomics at your own pace for free. There are options to upgrade if you wanna get a more in-depth learning experience.
La vita e bella
Life is beautiful because, come on. Think of the alternative. Think of the possibilities you can still do with just an extra day of life. Think of those who are not gonna have that shot at life anymore. By the way, do you realize that the dialysis patients I had years ago were all fighting to live another day? They fight daily for what you and I freely have.
May you always find your silver lining.
I wish you and yours a joyful and peaceful Christmas season!! <3
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