Updated: Jul 10, 2019
The most powerful decision you will ever make is to decide all of life’s major issues before you have to deal with them; so that when life challenges you, you already have a core belief system about key matters.
I call this mental and spiritual fortitude. It gives you a posture in your life that is resilient and grounded. It leads to agility when life is uncertain or when life hits you with a traumatic event.
In 2009 Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed a Boeing into the Hudson River in New York after a flock of birds almost made the aircraft crash. When asked how he had the presence of mind to land in the river so successfully, he said that he had made the decision years ago and had spent his career preparing for that day. No he did not foresee that one day he would crash-land into the Hudson. But he knew that as a pilot the risk of crashing was there. So he made a decision that he would always land his aircraft safely and save everyone on board if he ever faced that situation.
I loved that story and have practiced the concept since. The idea is that you simply have to decide how you intend to respond under tough situations. This is mental and spiritual fortitude. It is one of the most important qualities you can learn as a leader.
Who are you? What's your response to challenges? How do you deal with attack? How do you deal with trauma?
In each of these situations, you decide whether you fall apart, whimper into a corner or lie flat like a victim. Or, you stand and then go through to the other side.
As an entrepreneur, have you decided what you will do if your first business fails? As a musician, have you decided how you will deal with producers rejecting your talent?
I love the concept of mental and spiritual fortitude also because it is based on the truth of who I am…who God says I am…and not on my context or even how I feel. And every day as I learn and grow, I discover that I am limitless.
May you discover the same beloved.