Resilience and adversity
Tiger Woods, the legendary golf player, has again won the Augusta Masters, at 43 years old. Experts believe this is the “most incredible return ever seen in world sport.” After surgery, family problems and an accident, the American has returned in a big way.
Some people believe that opportunities end with the passage of time, or adverse times will last for the rest of the personal and professional life of human beings. For those, I will always remind them the opinion of the Chilean psychologist Pilar Sordo: we only begin to age when memories are imposed on projects. To the rest, I’ll say that happiness and success do not imply a scenario without problems or setbacks. Happiness is precisely knowing how to manage the ups and downs of life, enjoy the way, move forward and share.
A study from the University of Granada (Spain) did not find statistically significant differences between resilience and age, but they could establish that athletes entered in years are more resilient, due to a greater experience in the face of adversity.
Surely, many thought that Tiger would not return to the top of the world golf, that his excellent career already was sufficient and he had to live with it. But, also surely, he looked inward and found answers that no one else but himself could hear.
“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself”, said Seneca the philosopher.
Today, many people praise Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, but how many of them know his hard battle to increase his height? At 13 he was smaller than usual in a player, so he had to undergo through lengthy medical treatment. Messi’s success is a story of resilience, perseverance, talent, and passion.
Sport offers innumerable cases of adversity management, but everywhere there are eloquent examples, even in our own life and environment.
For example, resilience and perseverance despite —often devastating— blows is what is expected today from the French and Europeans. The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a symbol of universal culture, has been cruelly affected by the fire. However, I am sure that, with the help of everyone, it will rise up again.