I first picked up the book, ‘A Resilient Life’ by Gordon MacDonald when I was just turning 40. That was a very long time ago! Even so I still remember the profound impact it had on me then (and still continues to have). At the time I was entering into mid-life with all the associated questioning and self-doubt as to what had I achieved or, perhaps more accurately, not achieved in my life. It seemed to me so many others had done so much more, were further along the road of their calling and generally more sorted out (a dangerous thing to think!). Maybe you could call it the typical Midlife – Crisis or Chrysalis that is the subject of a previous blog post.
Macdonald had a beautifully simple analogy that drew me into his book. Imagine the marathon runner, he says. He runs that race – all 26 miles and 365 yards (or 42.2 kilometres if you prefer). It is long; it is gruelling; it is tough. But if the runner paces themselves correctly then they aim to finish the race with a sprint. They don’t just hobble across the finish line – no they aim to end with a final flourish, celebrating the end in a way that brings a climax to all they have done to come so far.
Macdonald defined ‘the way of resilience’ in someone as “going through adversity, coming out stronger so they are now an inspiration to others, getting better as time goes by.”
For someone getting older that is enormously attractive!
Resilience matters more and more because: