"Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive." — Jamais Cascio
In an 1890 interview in Harper's Monthly Magazine, Thomas Edison is quoted as saying:
"I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed three thousand different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently to be true. Yet only in two cases did my experiments prove the truth of my theory.”
Imagine if Edison had stopped after the first, second, or third tries? Imagine if he had stopped after the first thousand tries? There’s no way he would have been able to celebrate success! This example reminds us of the power that persistence has in our grand efforts, however Edison didn’t just practice persistence; he practiced something even more important to achieving any new endeavor. After all, if we don’t reflect after every attempt—and then innovate before our next attempt—then we’ll succumb to the often-quoted definition of insanity:
“The definition of insanity it doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
It’s been said that one of the primary reasons that people fail is by failing to change as circumstances change, and the Magic Word Resilience reminds is that if we want to celebrate success then it’s a good idea to practice creative persistence, by taking a step back to look at our circumstances in new and innovative ways to manage the inevitable surprises that we meet along the way.
When the going gets tough, and we find ourselves in “hot water,” there’s a humorous analogy that illustrates the three basic ways that we can respond: We can respond like a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean.
Jonas Cain is an instructional designer, facilitator of fascination, and purveyor of positivity—helping to initiate and manage positive change for individual, team, and community growth.