In Spite of Obstacles

There seem to be opportunities in all of our lives when we aren’t given a choice. Things. Just. Happen. It’s from these scenarios that we learn what we are made of.

True grit? Rock solid? A fish in water?


A drowned rat? Over the cliff?

I am reminded of an article written by Rose Sherman. Grit matters. When someone speaks of grit, do you picture a person who is “the salt of the earth”, hard crusted and worn down? Or is it the person who has many medals, having won by swimming when they could have easily sunk?

Grit is having the passion and perseverance to achieve your goals in spite of any obstacles that might be placed in your way.~ Rose Sherman, EdD., RN, FAAN

I think of personal experiences where I feel I was left high and dry, left to my own devices.

As friends have shared their personal stories of strife, a common theme or approach to crisis or problem management emerges from our shared stories.

  1. To survive a crisis or loss, one can never go it alone. It takes a village.
  2. To gather the villagers, one must be willing to find and admit vulnerability. Taking an inventory of weaknesses is absolutely essential. Part of that means to be willing to publicly say what those weaknesses are and then find friends and supporters with the characteristic strength to join the team, to rally around and provide fortification. It’s how all the greatest battles have been won.
  3. Nothing can be won without strong communication. The give and take and revising the roadmap for the journey forward is the only way to beat any strife.
  4. Spending energy on finding a person to blame for mistakes weakens the team. Instead, focused energy on finding the weaknesses and developing an approach to overcome them is the best time investment.
  5. Encouragement is absolute essential for oneself, and the village. Use it wisely and frequently.
  6. Invest in the journey. Everyone loves a story to revel in after the sojourn is done. The journey towards swimming belongs in the history book.

The Daily Prompt: Sink or Swim


Stepping Into Our Greatness

Have you read the book, Jonathon Livingston Seagull? Richard Bach wrote this parable story of a seagull who followed his dream while going against what was normal seagull behavior. Jonathon was ostracized by other seagulls because he wanted to make the most of the life he was given.

What happens when we take the road less traveled? We may be labeled different. Everyone wants to be in the fray; it’s comfortable to be normal, we appreciate the ability to relate to others, to know and understand the rules, playing it safe because often those who take the road less traveled are ostracized. No one likes to be the odd one out, so we try to be a part of the herd.

New Year’s Day is often about dropping back from the group thinking, evaluating what makes us different, focusing on self and reevaluating what may be needed to make the most of the life we have been given.

In Jonathon Livingston Seagull, the story of the extraordinary flight of an unusual seagull encourages us to follow our dreams and achieve our goals. As we do, we too will soar.

The parable gives us permission to step into our greatness. Happy New Year!

“Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to live! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can learn to be free! We can learn to fly!”
― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull