My father taught himself to play the guitar. Day after day, he played the same songs, which was a little annoying, but in the end, he became quite good. However, during those first few months, his fingers ached until calluses developed to protect his fingertips. Once calluses formed, he enjoyed spending hours playing, singing, and even writing songs. None of which would have happened if he hadn’t willingly gone through the pain of developing calluses.
The same is true for Olympic gymnasts, years of perseverance, and practice has resulted in callused hands. So much so that many don’t like to shake your hand because they’re so rough. However, they will gladly give you a fist pump instead.
So it is for many professions such as; farmers, construction workers, tennis players, rodeo riders, baseball catchers, and even pole-vaulters, to name a few. Each intentionally and knowingly persisted through the pain until calluses formed, making their work easier and more enjoyable.
Because life is difficult, we all could benefit from developing a few calluses. Calluses are the outward sign of your inner character traits. Traits such as courage, self-discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, patience, and resilience enabled you to persist in accomplishing your goal despite the difficulty.
This kind, resilient character doesn’t develop without experiencing struggle, resistance, disappointment, and quite often pain. Resilient character cannot be developed in any other way. However, once developed, it equips you to aspire toward even greater accomplishments.
Living a life that attempts to ignore or avoid struggle, resistance, disappointment, and pain only makes you feel weak and insecure. With no life experience in dealing with difficulty or pain successfully, you resist or run away from situations that require resilience. Resulting in living a less fulfilling life that, unfortunately, your family comes to believe is normal. That’s sad.
Can you change this; can you learn to be resilient? If so, how is a resilient character developed?
Yes, you can change this, and it can only be developed over time; no one is born with a resilient character.
Here are some recommended ways to discover and develop resiliency in you and the lives of your loved ones:
- Accept that cultivating resilience will cause you discomfort and sometimes pain. This is normal; accepting the discomfort and pain is part of the growth process.
- You cultivate resilience by intentionally learning to deal with difficult people. For example, learning to deal with a difficult spouse or family member. You will likely encounter difficult people in your family or the workplace. Unfortunately, this is a reality of life. Therefore resilient men, women, parents, professionals like police officers, and military service members work hard to prepare themselves for dealing with difficult people, like bullies. They practice, role play, lean into the problem, and learn to expect it instead of hoping that it never happens. This mindset equips them for dealing with the realities of life.
- Seek out information, help, and support from supportive friends or family members that you admire for their resilient spirit. They’ve had to deal with difficult people or bullies, a time or two. Their experience and encouragement will help you to persevere and stick with it.
- Start simply and slowly; like calluses, nothing worthwhile is developed overnight. The key is consistency and not giving up. It will take time, often more than you plan, but worth it in the end.
- Accept that you may fail before you succeed, but don’t quit. Persistence is the key to developing a resilient character.
- Practice is required. As the saying goes, “perfect practice makes perfect.” Therefore I recommend that you enlist someone to help you practice dealing with difficult people. Moreover, help your children practice dealing with bullies so that they can be better prepared.
- Remember, resilience can be learned and taught to anyone at any age.
Whether it’s learning to play the guitar, dealing with difficult people, or ride a broncing bull at the rodeo, each will require a resilient heart. And perhaps a few calluses. Be mindful that “What comes easy won’t last, and what lasts won’t come easy.” However, it will be worth it in the end.
One final note, my father, wrote, played recorded a CD of original music before he passed away. Because of his persistence, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren continue to the music he loved.
I hope that today’s blog has been an encouragement to you. If so, make sure you sign up to receive blogs when posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That’s why I’m are here. TransformingFamilies.org was created to guide you through the restoration process of developing your heart, mind, and strength, enabling you to become the man God created you to be.
I also provide one-on-one coaching, if you’re wanting to improve your relationships, or just need someone to talk to, e-mail me at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’., and we’ll schedule a time to connect by phone. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed man.