Have you ever made one of those decisions that a day or two later you wonder what you were thinking when you committed to that? Recently I was presented with the opportunity to run the Chicago Marathon in October in order to raise dollars to help provide clean water to folks that do not have it in Africa. While I love to run, I love to run 3-6 miles on a lovely day--for fun. Running 26.2 miles never has crossed my mind as a good time, or been a goal for my bucket list. However, it is a great cause, I have friends and family running, and it seemed like a challenge--and I love a good challenge. But a couple of days later--fear set in. Self-doubt set in. Other folks opinions of my decision to run were shared--siding with the position that this might not be the best idea. Perhaps even a bit of logic and clear thinking set in and at some point I had to stop and reflect on this decision that was made.
While I believe reflection is essential for any leader, this can also be a paralyzing practice. When we reflect obsessively, this can cause us to become over-sensitive or unable to make a decision. Finding the balance of taking time to weigh the options and then make the decision that seems the best for the facts at hand is the only way to move forward. It takes resilience and grit to make a decision, buckle down, and make it happen. That's what I'm doing. I submitted by race registration and tackled a long run on Saturday (which turns out isn't all that long when I will still have 20 miles left to go on race day!) taking small steps toward accomplishing my goal and beating this challenge. But it is still scary.
What does this have to do with PTSC? I'm glad you asked!
Our kids need to see us living out a lifestyle of courage, and modeling that life isn't always easy--but that perseverance and persistence packaged together with courage is the way to see tough situations through. We need to acknowledge that sometimes it is scary--but that we cannot let our fear paralyze us. Sure, there may be an easy way out--but it may not be the right way. We need to help our students understand that success is a journey and that the road isn't always easy to navigate. We need to help model resilience and sticking to things even when they are hard or the challenge seems too big. And ultimately sometimes we fail.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
When failures come, how do we greet them? I don't know that anyone ever really willingly invites failure, but sometimes that is what comes. It is in that moment that there is the opportunity to model the courage to pick up and keep going--and that the failure does not have to define us.
What courageous decisions did you make today and how have you shared them with your children?