Rocky Marciano was one of the toughest fighters we have ever seen. He ended his career undefeated, but he didn’t end his career without being hit hard and knocked down. He won 49 fights. He was knocked down twice. He was powerful. He was relentless. He was a dominant force of nature. He was also unpredictable in a sport that demands unpredictability to succeed.
I’m going to be very honest with you: March and April felt a little like fighting Rocky Marciano; it was a bit hard for me. I don’t mind telling you that because I think it is important to admit when things are challenging. The real measure of character is revealed by asking: what do we do when we’re challenged?
Typically, I’d say that I try to rise to the occasion and come up with a plan for how I’m going to forge ahead. However, given the uncertainty we’ve all been feeling, I think that we all need to pause, reflect and get back up.
Why Pause, Reflect and Get Back Up?
For that … we need Rocky Marciano again. After one of his two knockdowns, he said, “I was on my face. I heard the count from one to 10. I kept telling myself that I had to get up, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t make myself move. It was the strangest feeling.” He paused, he felt the feeling of getting knocked down and then he got back up.
During these last few months, as many of us shifted our lives to working from home, schooling from home, eating at home, playing at home and we started with a plan. Most of those plans changed quickly and then quickly changed again. And then something wonderful happened. We pressed pause and got back up and many of us learned to live in the moment.
We started to improvise, substitute, innovate and adapt. We cooked with ingredients on hand. We stayed home and tried to flatten the curve. Life is noticeably slower in a surprisingly pleasant way.
So, when our opponent is tough, we get tougher and I remember to let my plans go and adapt to become stronger than my opponent, which I realize is often myself. This is what it means to be resilient. And perhaps it is resiliency that is the most important as we get up and continue on.