Resilience. Grit. Perseverance. These are the X-Factors and the superpowers that I come across in so many famous failure stories. The elements that level the playing field. The characteristics that trump talent time and time again.
I’m reading Think Again by Adam Grant and he told a story about the Wright brothers. He wrote, “When the Wright brothers said they thought together, what they really meant is that they fought together. Arguing was the family business. Although their father was a bishop in the local church, he included books by atheists in his library — and encouraged the children to read and debate them. They developed the courage to fight for their ideas and the resilience to lose a disagreement without losing their resolve. When they were solving problems, they had arguments that lasted not just for hours but for weeks and months at a time. They didn’t have such incessant spats because they were angry. They kept quarrelling because they enjoyed it and learned from the experience. ‘I like scrapping with Orv,” Wilbur reflected. As you’ll see, it was one of their most passionate and prolonged arguments that led them to rethink a critical assumption that had prevented humans from soaring through the skies.”
And then they showed us how to fly.
How many times have we hit a wall and thought, “This journey is not for me. I have to change course.” But maybe the wall showed up so we had a second to lean on it for a rest. And regained the courage to try again.
All those who find the solution, climb the mountain, make the impact, and change the world met resistance. And failure. And someone saying no. It is those who know you must get up one more time when you fall that are the ones who change everything.
What is one thing we can do today that will help us learn how to fly?