Stamina. The power to endure. We need stamina, just as we need a backbone. The two, in a way, are related. They hold us upright and keep us looking straight ahead.
When we look at people, we wonder how they survive certain events. When the unexpected headline lands on someone’s lap, we gather around in support as they begin anew to work through the complex obstacle course in front them.
When our men and women return from wars, we wonder how they put their “normal” lives back together again.
When people survive cancer or other major health incidents, we are amazed by their progress, especially in light of what they have had to endure.
When individuals encounter major accidents, we look at them in complete admiration as they learn to walk again and re-engage their life again.
When we see how they endure, we wonder if we could do the same.
There are, of course, those who don’t work through these life occurrences well, and they struggle greatly with getting their life back into a new shape. We coach them, encourage them, pray for them, and help them as best we can.
Ultimately, it is their stamina that must kick-in and move them forward. For nearly a year, I have watched my brother work through his challenges as he recovers from the explosion that blew him 70-plus feet out of his bed. For him, it is not all about the accident; it is about how to get his life back again.
As I think about stamina, it seems to embrace three key principles – Acceptance, Attitude, and Action.
Acceptance: As challenging as it is sometimes, we just need to accept what we cannot change. Circumstances arrive. Accidents happen. Tragedies unfold. This isn’t about being careless or not holding people accountable for their actions. It is about acknowledging what has happened and then determine how to deal with it.
It is not about focusing on the life-changing event. It is about how to change our life and work through the new circumstances.
Attitude: Having, and keeping, the right attitude is vital. It is a mindset of “now that this is happened, how can I get from here to where I want to be?” Is this challenging? Absolutely! An attitude of pushing yourself is vital. An attitude of how to get better is fundamental. An attitude of visualizing where we want to be, and then working diligently toward it, is essential.
It is about adopting the mindset of continuously improving, learning, and moving forward.
Action: Nothing happens by doing nothing. It is a simple statement that is often missed. To get where we want to go, we need to do the work. We need to act as positively as possible in all we do.
It is about taking action on a recovery plan. It is about hard work, but most things are.
In my observation and experience, these are the three pillars to gain stamina in our lives. Of course, a community of support helps. This is an important assumption that needs to be real and firmly in place. Additionally, there are two other supporting elements: Reflection and Practice.
Reflection: There needs to be a time for reflection, which means there needs to be time for rest and renewal. Understanding what we want to do going forward takes thought and introspection. Gaining strength of mind, body, and spirit takes rest. Reflection enables acceptance, attitude, and action to remain as central elements to our stamina.
Practice: It also takes practice. Getting the actions right or adopting the right attitude may take practice, trial and learning. Through practice, strength is gained, and paths forward begin to form. Practice may mean repeatedly attempting the same action so that the power to move beyond that step can be done.
To maintain stamina, it is important to take the time to reflect and to practice.
If you are a leader, then you need stamina.
If you are an individual facing a crisis, then you need stamina.
If you are working hard to live a spirited and meaningful life, then you need stamina.
Life delivers the unexpected along with the anticipated. Keep strong. Embrace your stamina to continue to move forward, positively, diligently, and purposefully.
How do you get and keep your stamina?