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Resilience and perseverance are important
March 19, 2012
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by Jenni Sebora

Thomas Edison made about 1,000 attempts before his light bulb was functional. However, he characterized this process as 1,000 steps to success.

Studies reveal that employers put perseverance and resiliency ahead of intelligence and talent in the work force. That is pretty powerful information for us, and for preparing our children for the future.

I was just reading an article with the students that I work with about this subject. In our program, we are preparing our students for life after school, including the work world, post-secondary training, living skills, and social skills. The importance of not getting stuck when we make mistakes, learning from them and moving on with the information is vital to how they will function in their communities and workforce, as it is important to all of us.

Our children will experience setbacks in school, personal life, relationships, and work as they enter that phase of their life. We have to help prepare them for dealing with challenges and moving forward.

Michael Jordan was cut from the high school basketball team. He did not quit, obviously. He worked on his skills during the year, and made the team the next year. And, we all know about his success on the court from then on. Now, does that mean, we will all make the NBA team if we persevere long and hard enough?

Obviously not. The point being made is that we will have setbacks. We will experience challenges. We can experience our disappointments and feel those feelings that go with disappointments, but we don’t want to get stuck there.

What have we learned from the setback? Are there things that we can do to improve upon the challenge or changes we can make? Do we get back on the “horse” and go for another interview, when we didn’t get the last job we interviewed for?

We want to teach our children that it is important to come back from those disappointments.

I teach my students that each day is a new day, filled with new challenges, new experiences, new discoveries, and new joys. We need to use what we learned from yesterday and look forward to today.

It is important to support our children in their efforts and trials. If we take a critical approach, it will probably only hinder and stifle their efforts in the future for fear of making a mistake.


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