A few days ago, I participated in a twitter chat where the topic discussed was “Inner Strength”. The first questions of the conversation were simple yet powerful reflection prompts that motivated me to write this post. The moderators asked, “What is inner strength?” And “ How can inner strength help you in your life?” This got me to reflect that over the years, I have always prided myself in having a solid foundation of inner strength. As an educator, a family man, and a school leader, I have have spent years trying to model it in my life, and hoping to help build it in others. Yet, I had never been asked to actually define it and explain its impact on me. So here is it, in my own words, my definition of inner strength:
“Inner strength is having the courage and motivation to do the hard thing for the right reasons. Believing in ourselves regardless of the hardships we face, and facing our fears head-on with a smile because #SiSePuede”
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately about the last two decades. I’ve been thinking about what I was able to accomplish as well as the struggles I faced and ultimately tackled. I know that inner strength helped me when I immigrated to a new country. Pushed me through when I learned a new language. Motivated me to keep going on my journey to losing weight and getting in shape. During the last two decades, I ran a marathon became an educator, built a career and supported my family. I am thankful for the last two decades because overall, I have lived a life of success. Yet, I have also felt stuck in so many ways.
As we start not only a new year, but a new decade, I decided to put some serious thought into what I want to accomplish in the 2020’s. My experience has taught me that life is not always easy. I have learned that regardless of how much inner strength we think we have, there will be times of hardship, times of grief, times of loneliness and times of failures as well. As I sit and write this post, I realize that it is in during those challenging times that inner strength is needed the most. I know that inner strength is not always enough and we shouldn’t rely on it alone to help us achieve and accomplish our goals. No matter how much inner strength we have, and how able we think we are to achieve greatness, asking for help when needed is also important. In a way, embracing our vulnerability and a growth mindset is also a sign of inner strength. Asking and accepting help will make challenging times less difficult. It will help us see the good in people. It will replenish our inner strength and it will help us stay on the course towards success with a positive attitude.
My one word for 2020 is “renovation”. My hope for this year is to rejuvenate my motivation and refresh new passions. I am confident in my inner strength but I’m more thankful for the network of support I have that will allow me to continue to achieve my goals and aspirations. As an older and wiser version of myself in 2020, I know that happy and challenging times are ahead. It is scary to think about my responsibilities. The pressure is on, but my inner strength, and a community of support is all I need to keep going. I’m facing what’s ahead with a positive attitude and a smile. Happy 2020’s!