#DailyWritingChallenge Day 5: Resilience – an anonymous blog

Now I understand: success is not measured by external factors – grades, exams, earnings; 

Success is measured by resilience. 

The greater the effort in

and the greater the resilience shown,

the greater the achievement,

the greater the success. 

2006: aged 17.  It’s her first time behind the wheel of a car, on a hilly campsite in Cornwall with her mum.  The car starts to move and she panics and presses all the pedals, revving the engine, causing a cloud of smoke to appear from the rear and engulf them all, and her Dad appears out of the tent shouting something she can’t hear with his arms waving and her mum is shouting…

2007: aged 18.  Her first real driving lesson (she got a Saturday job in a clothes shop she hates to pay for it).  She crawls through Dulwich without leaving first gear.  25 driving lessons later and Jeff has had enough and passed her over to a colleague.  Mark makes her go round and round Peckham, telling her repeatedly how badly she’s driving and that she’s, “Nowhere near ready to take a test.”  She tells him she quits.

2011: aged 22.  Starting again with a new instructor and a new city.  She’s quarried the depths of her overdraft to pay for 35 more lessons and 3 tests in as many months.  Failed all of the them because 1) she didn’t stop at a stop sign 2) her reverse around a corner was too wide 3) she woke up that morning dreaming she ran somebody over during the test and was on trial for murder … then on the way to the test she nearly crashed into a huge lorry when merging onto the ring road.  Can’t even remember why she failed, except that by the time the test started, she was a quaking bundle of nerves.  She quits again and moves back to London.

2016: aged 27.  A woman this time – called Farida.  She loves her warmth as they drive around NW London.  Farida laughs when she makes mistakes, which makes her less anxious.  Most of her salary changes hands.  After another 20 lessons, she takes another test.  The tester has to grab the wheel half way through as she nearly collides with a lorry and then over-compensates and nearly falls off the road into a ditch.

2017: aged 28.  Her friend’s Dad spends a week helping out: he makes her reverse round and round a car park.  As a statement of trust, he puts his daughter, his wife and his Dad in the back and tells her to drive them to Wales.  If she crashes now, she will literally wipe out 3 generations of his family. 

A week later, she takes another test.  When the tester says, “Pass” she starts crying and feel like her spine gives way as she crumbles forwards into the steering wheel.

After that, she borrows a car and drives all the way from London to Cornwall alone, just to prove to herself that she really can.  She gets given a rusty, old car and spends the entire contents of her bank account insuring it.  She can drive.  She can drive!  She drives to Edinburgh, to Manchester, to Sussex and all around London.  She learns to hate the M25 and to lean her arm out of the window in a nonchalant act of dominance that makes others let her into traffic.  Of everything she’s done in life, this is the achievement she is most proud of.

Now I understand: success is not measured by external factors – grades, exams, earnings; 

Success is measured by resilience. 

The greater the effort in

and the greater the resilience shown,

the greater the achievement,

the greater the success. 

Published by Ethical Leader

Leadership Development Consultant, Facilitator, Coach, Speaker and Writer. Experience of teaching schools, initial teacher education, mentoring & coaching, diversity and equality. Passionate about integrity, ethics and values.

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