Resilience as a Product of Purpose

by Bulldog Drummond

Recently while reading The New York Times, we came across a fascinating article exploring the emotional effects of the presence or absence of purpose in one’s life. David Brooks discusses how today’s young adults have been deemed “the orchid generation” for their lack of emotional resilience. While he says that helicopter parenting and shielding children from conflict and hardship may have contributed, there is a much larger cultural force at play that has been ignored — purpose.

“If you really want people to be tough, make them idealistic for some cause, make them tender for some other person, make them committed to some worldview that puts today’s temporary pain in the context of a larger hope.”

Brooks explains that resilience doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The grit and toughness that we revere in our culture are not innate. We discover these things when we have a greater purpose. He says, “We are all fragile when we don’t know what our purpose is.” And this wisdom applies not only to Millennials, but to people, groups and companies of all ages and industries. Without a clear purpose we are all lost.

He reminds us that purpose does not mean perfection — even those with a defined purpose feel fear, pain and frustration. But if we want our children, our families, our employees and our companies to be tough and resilient, we must give them something bigger than themselves to live and work for; they must have a purpose.

Read Brooks’ full article in The New York Times.

Originally published on the Bulldog Drummond blog.

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