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Taking the Plunge: Learning Resilience

Imagine for a moment that you wanted to learn how to swim. You could spend hundreds of hours learning the physics of water, understanding buoyancy, learning the biology of various swimming animals, watching PowerPoint presentations about proper swimming techniques, and reading the biographies of Olympic swimmers. Would you know how to swim? Clearly not. To learn to swim, you must take the plunge; you must swim.

We rely on an antiquated education system that grossly under-prepares us to thrive. Lining children up in rows listening to the teacher present material was a model designed for the industrial revolution. It worked well for the time. For the first time in history, children of every social class received a basic education that taught them to function effectively in a factory setting. It was truly revolutionary in that education became accessible to the general public, not only to the elites who could afford private instructors.

This model inadequately prepares us to thrive in a fast moving, modern era. Learning to sit still and listen stifles our creativity, while grades teach us that failure is bad. The education system bridles high energy children, and forces them to conform to acceptable behavior. We lose so much of our strengths as individuals, and valuing what each person can uniquely contribute. Instead, we learn to show up on time, put in our hours, and do as we are told. We learn to hate school from an early age, which prepares us to spend the rest of our lives in jobs that we also hate.

Rather than perpetuating an obsolete system, let's get to the essence of education. We need to learn to overcome our challenges and thrive. Learning should be active. Learning should be fun. Education should provide you skills to succeed, not count how many years you spent in a classroom. Most importantly, we should learn how to fail, as failure is the greatest teacher. We should take the plunge, fail, and learn from our failures.

Just like swimming, driving, starting a business, or curing cancer, learning resilience requires doing. You cannot become resilient by reading articles about it. I Resile empowers people to become resilient, but the action must be yours. We can lead you to the edge of the water, but you must take the plunge. Resilience is not an end point, it is a decision you must make every day.

Stop reading, and do. No, seriously. Stop reading this article right now, and resile. Do thirty minutes of yoga. Practice applying a tourniquet. Write your business plan. Create a vaccine for COVID. Or fail. It's ok, we'll wait....

Oh, you're back. Great. Don't you feel better? What did you learn?

Commit to resile every day. Decide on one action you will do each day to make yourself more resilient. Find something you can do to personally improve yourself. Learn something new every day. Or fail at something new every day, and learn from your failures. Just make a little progress every day. You don't have to change the world in a day, but you can change the world a little every day.


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