Showing posts with label Resilience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Resilience. Show all posts

April 7, 2019

Bar Mitzvah Speech Page 3

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Bar Mitzvah Speech Page 3."
I wondered to myself how come this bar mitzvah boy didn’t end his speech with the traditional thank you to: my loving mother and father, my dear grandparents, my annoying brothers and sisters, and all my terrific uncle and aunts who came from Israel, Europe, and Canada to be with me here on this special day? There was none of that, and I was puzzled — how can he not thank everyone who made this day possible?
This was a true lesson about always being prepared and resilient, because that is what true empowerment is all about. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 17, 2018

Rocky Says

A quote from my role model Rocky: 
It's not about how hard you hit.
It's about how hard you get hit.
And keep moving on.
That's how winning is done.
Go Rocky!

And by the way, you should hit pretty hard also. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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February 8, 2018

Adversity Is Not What You Think


This TEDx video is truly WOW!

Definitely worth watching in full.  

So many takeaways from this that I want to remember.

- Three things can happen in life:

1. What you hope will happen

2. What you fear will happen

3. What actually happens

- There is not always a tomorrow!

Think if you were paralyzed from the neck down, what would you wish you had done differently, and go do it.

- See adversity as a gift:

1. It is harsh and ruthless.

2. It shows up unannounced.

3. It doesn't care what you want.

4. It doesn't give a darn how you feel.

5. It doesn't take no for an answer.

6. It hates your weakness.

7. It is your best teacher.

8. It is the most honest person you will ever encounter.

9. It forces you to up your game.

10. It knows your true potential even if you don't.

11. It offers you no other choice, so the choice is simple.

12. At the end of the day, we are only as strong as the adversity we overcome!

13. It will recede, but the lessons will always remain.

14. It will strengthen you to endure your next battle, stronger and wiser than before.

15. How we overcome adversity is by facing it head on. (If you try to avoid it, it can crush you; and if you try to go around it, you will never avoid it's grasp.)

My absolute congratulations and gratitude to Marcus Aurelius Anderson on this magnificent and brilliant talk and lessons for all of us!

And thank you Minna Blumenthal for sharing this wisdom with me!
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January 23, 2018

Until My Last Breath

The Shema Yisrael.
Hear O' Israel. The L-rd our G-d. The L-rd is one.

The most sacred and fundamental of prayers in Judaism. 

Declaring our monotheistic belief and faith in the One Above who has created and sustains us daily. 

These are words we call out from the depths of our heart and soul--in joy, in suffering, in life, and ultimately as we leave this world.

No one can take this from us. 

Only G-d decrees who shall live and who shall die...who shall be exalted and who shall be made low. 
Hear O' Israel.
The L-rd our G-d.
The L-rd is one. 
Everything is life is given true perspective by this.

People may rise against us and situations may look dire.

But in the realm of G-d, these are all fleeting like the dust that blows in the wind. 

So too shall G-d remove our troubles and bring us comfort. 

It is a test; it is all a test--remember, Hear O' Israel--and pass it with flying colors. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 19, 2017

What Do You Do With Fear?

Thought this was a really good perspective on fear.

"You have two options:

Forget Everything And Run

Or

Face Everything And Rise"

It the old fight or flight!

- Running may be good when you can avoid a devastating fight and get yourself and your loved one to safety.

- But sometimes you don't have that option and you have to "fight the good fight" and overcome the devils you face. 

Everyone is afraid of something(s) and/or somebodies. 

If someone isn't afraid then they are brain dead!

Strengthen yourselves, ready yourselves, and pray. 

What do you fear and how will you face it? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 29, 2017

It's Not (Always) Easy

Sometimes, we see people--especially on social media these days--and they look "all that!"--so happy, so loved, so rich, so with everything--so it seems (superficially). 

But there is definitely another reality out there, and that is that everyone has problems:

- Family
- Health
- Finances
- Work
- School
- Conflict
- Spiritual

Like Helen Keller said: 
"I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet."

I remember as a child, if I felt sad about something, my dad at times would remind me about the children in the hospital, and to think about how we can help others less fortunate--and he was right!

What I see in life is a lot of people trying, but also so many challenges, failures, and suffering along the way...unfortunately, it's part of the learning and growth equation, and in why we're here. 

In college, I always remember one (English) professor who taught me from Henry David Thoreau:
"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Sometimes, in our solitude or when we speak quietly from our heart with our closest loved ones, we feel and express some of those deep feelings of hurt, pain, and suffering from our lives.  

Those experiences, memories, and feelings are not all that there is of us, but it is certainly a part of all of us--although maybe only the brave will admit theirs.

It's not shameful to feel, to cry, and to be human. 

It's certainly not what Facebook and Twitter are all about. 

But it's a genuine and critical part of us which recognizes as my dad also taught me that--life is not easy--and that we have to fight every day to do our best and to help others to do theirs. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 14, 2016

Making a Right, Left, or Straight

This was a funny sign to an Ethiopian cafe in downtown Washington, D.C. 

"When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left."

(and next to it is another sign that says, "Money isn't everything, but it keeps the kids in touch.")

So what type of person are you?

When the going gets tough and nothing is going right, where do you go--to the coffee shop, door on the left--or more seriously do you:

- Close your eyes and keep marching forward like a good soldier?

- Get scared off, turn around, and run the other way?

- Take a break or slow down, stopping long enough to figure out what's wrong, and come up with solutions? 

Maybe you do a little of all three--sort of the Curly Shuffle. 

But aside from faith in G-d (and coffee-drinking), perhaps two really critical traits for success in life are resilence in the face of adversity and your problem-solving skills.

That doesn't mean that you never plow on or turn back--these are appropriate at times too--but that you know when to turn right, left, or make a straight dash to the goal line. ;-)

(Source Photo: Danielle Blumenthal)
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February 9, 2013

Have Some Chutzpah


Nobody likes to get or feel rejected--whether asking someone on a date, applying for a job, coming up with a new idea...you don't want to get shot down...you want to be appreciated for who are you and what you "bring to the table." 

I used to have a teacher who used to tell his students "nobody appreciates how great you are like your mother does."

In other words, don't get overconfident and think your so smart, so good-looking, or so otherwise great--just because you received unconditional love from your parents--who tell you everything you do is so amazing and you are G-d's greatest gift to mankind--doesn't mean it's really true.

So get real about yourself!

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (7 January 2013) had an article about something called "Rejection Therapy"--where for 100 days, this guy--Jia Jiang--"makes at least one preposterous demand everyday" that get him "strange looks, rude comments, and outright dismissal."

He posts videos of this to his site entresting.com or "Hope from nope."

Jiang is trying to learn a little chutzpah and determination in the face of rejection--especially for landing some venture capital funding for a social networking app he wants to build. 

To teach himself to get out there, try his best, be willing to fall off the horse and get right back up again, Jiang now purposely seeks to get rejected every day--thinking that "Everybody has failures periodically. The people who are generally successful are the ones who bounce right back."

So he asks random people for crazy things...like a policeman, if he can sit in his/her squad car--just to see what happens and if he gets rejected whether he can brush it off--and generally be strong in the face of (repeated) failure and some accompanying adversity. 

It's a crazy experiment, but one that is getting Jiang noticed--maybe you've got to be a little crazy to stand out from the crowd. 
In the end, it's not about rejection, but about trying your best and being willing to take some bruises and bumps along the way to your goals. 

The path to success is littered with wounded and even dead bodies--to succeed you've got to have some chutzpah--plus a dose of resilience and perseverance--to get out there and try, try again. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 27, 2012

Resilience In The Face Of Disaster


This year when ball drops in Time Square next week to usher in the New Year, it will be a little different than in prior years, because rather than blanket cheer, there will be a good amount of consternation as we hit the debt limit of $16.4 trillion as well as the Fiscal Cliff where broad spending cuts and tax increases are to go into effect (whether in full, partial with some sort of deal, or in deferral).

Like the statue pictured here, the strength and resilience of the American people will be tested and we will need to stand tall and strong. 

In this context, it was interesting to read in Wired Magazine (January 2013) a interview with Andrew Zolli, the author of Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, an exploration of the importance of resilience in the face of adversity. 

Whether in response to natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy or man-made ones like the financial crisis and terrorism, we need to be prepared to adapt to disaster, respond and continue operations, and recover quickly to rebuild and grow. 

According to Zolli, we need shock absorbers for our social systems that can "anticipate events...sense their own state...and can reorganize to maintain their core purpose amid disruption."

Adaptability is important, so that we can continue to operate in an emergency, but also vital is "self-repair" so we can "bounce back."

These concepts for resiliency in emergency management are similar to how Government Computer News (December 2012) describes the desire for building autonomous self-healing computer systems that can defend and recover from attacks. 

The notion is that when our computer systems are under cyber attack, we need to be able to defend them in an automated way to counter the threats in a timely fashion. 

Thus, acccording to GCN, we need IT systems that have situational monitoring for self awareness, real-time identification of an attack, continuous learning to adapt and defend againt changing attack patterns, and self-healing to recover from them. 

Thus, bouncing back from social and cyber disasters really requires similar resilience, and for some challenges, it may be sooner than later that we are tested. ;-)

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal)

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