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Mar 17, 201609:50 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Finding resilience in adversity

(page 1 of 2)

Some years ago when my brother was in the process of selling our family business he called and told me that he thought I was the most resilient person he’d ever met, and he asked me how he could develop that same gift.

The process of letting go of something that our father and mother had begun 50-plus years before was getting to him. Up to that point, I had never thought about resilience and how it helps one to bounce back from challenges, adversity, and/or misfortune. After that phone call, I began to study how other people dealt with the “stop signs” in business and in life. There are many examples all around us every day of people who are dealing with big or little emergencies with flexibility that keeps them from breaking down.

Take the old adage, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Those who master resilience are somewhat adept at accepting what comes down the pike, and even when things seem at their worst they have perseverance and trust in their ability to work through the challenge.

Thinking of different situations our family has faced and worked through — in business and life — I remember when a lady drove her car into our showroom. Putting her foot on the gas pedal instead of the brake, she and her car jumped a curb, crossed a sidewalk, and crashed through our showroom windows, which were full of a crystal display, and then came to rest in the middle of our showroom floor. Fortunately, this happened on a Sunday afternoon when we were closed and all our customers were home watching the Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears. Most important, no one was hurt, not even the lady driver. We just had a lot of cleaning and fixing up to do. Resilience entered the picture when we realized we had an opportunity to “make lemonade” by totally revamping that section of the showroom and laugh about how we could now be a “drive-in trophy shop.”


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