HOW RESILIENT ARE YOU?
A lot of people who are older than me have told me that my generation is not resilient. To a certain extent, I do agree.
For instance, my dad has gone through things that are way more challenging than I ever will.
My dad was a bank manager of a national bank in India. He started working at the age of 17, paying for college by working full time, and then coming home every evening at 10pm to cook dinner, eat, and sleep. This workhorse routine and rigorous pace still remains with him today.
When I was living in India, there was political instability in the city we lived, and during one particular riot, my dad decided it was time to try to leave. We immigrated to Toronto in the late 80’s, coincidentally around the same time a major recession had hit the Canadian economy.
As is so often the case in the immigrant experience, my dad worked 3 labour jobs to support our family, my mom and I, and cover the expenses of our modest 1 bedroom unit. I grew up as a happy child, without knowing that I grew up in one of Toronto’s lowest income neighbourhoods.
My dad tells me now that he would come home crying from work, frustrated with his diminished position in society as a working class immigrant, and aching from the strain of his labour on his body.
With a limp to his step due to a leg problem he has had since childhood, a heavy Indian accent, and the odds against him, he felt like he had moved to Canada and had officially hit rock bottom in his life.
But out of sheer pain and necessity, my dad decided he was no longer willing to be average and instead, became determined to be extraordinary. He invested $300 (a lot of money for him at the time) in a audio cassette personal development program called Personal Power hosted by Tony Robbins. It helped him create a vision for the future, and what he wanted in all aspects of his life; spiritually, financially, emotionally, family, physically, etc. My dad accredits this program as the reason why he has been one of the top 100 realtors in Canada for over 15 years.
He continues to inspire me every day with his love for enjoying each moment, leaving people better off than when he met them, and serving others through his work, regardless of the money.
In moments when I find myself feeling down, struggling to figure out what is next, or doubting whether what I am doing is worth doing, I remind myself of my dad. He reminds me every day to count my blessings, notice the pain that I am experiencing and use it to drive me, and to see every experience in life as a potentially transformative life lesson that will help me be my best self.
Our generation may have it a lot easier, in that, we have had a lot of people provide us with a higher starting point than they did. But pain is pain, and our generation still struggles. When we learn from the resilience of others, we are able to use our pain to energize us towards our dreams, in spite of the obstacles we may face along the way.
Who in your life inspires you to keep going? How do you remain resilient along the path towards your dreams?