The Resilience of a Sponge

sponge photo - to show resiliency

Our ability to "Bounce Back" and move forward is an attribute which provides confidence and security to face life's most challenging situations. The analogy of a bouncing ball rebounding in spite of adversity is a powerful metaphor as is the resiliency of a sponge. While the physical characteristics of a bouncing ball and a sponge are very different, there are noteworthy similarities.

A sponge after being twisted and tortured returns to its original state. While there is a definite limit to the abuse it can take, the sponge is resilient and "Bounces Back" to its initial form. We can learn much from the sponge both in its natural state in the ocean and its commercial state with which we are more familiar.

The living sponge we find in the ocean regenerates itself when cut from its base for commercial use. The treated sponge we buy in the store is remarkable in its ability to store water (information) and to return to its original state (Bounce Back) after being used and abused. When we face our challenges as if we were a sponge, we encounter new found significance in the most trying times of our lives.

"Resilience" is "The property of a material that enables it to resume its original shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed; elasticity." This is the essence of the sponge. Our capacity to return to our, "original state," after being bent, stretched and twisted by the dynamic cycles of life is a worthy goal, while our ability to improve and learn through these challenges is ideal.

Those who achieve impressive feats in life are those who have the ability to look at problems as challenges and who are not afraid of failure. Failure is neither good nor bad, it simply is. Some of the most incredible discoveries have been the result of tremendous failures and harsh criticism.

A positive attitude, focus, flexibility, organization and initiative are characteristics which allow us to have the resilience of a sponge to Bounce Back from any situation which arises.

  • A positive attitude drives us to see problems as challenges
  • Intense focus permits us to continue on the right track
  • Flexibility creates a myriad of appealing alternatives
  • Organization facilitates the direction our destiny
  • Initiative compels us in the direction we desire

Success is not an accident, rather it is the result of the decisions we make daily. When we become aware of the way in which we see the world and, specifically, how we view our own trials and tribulations, we embark on a journey which illuminates the beauty of each stride in this incredible adventure we call life.

It's the Bounce that Counts!

Copyright © Rob McBride /
All rights reserved. Used with permission. © Al Siebert Resiliency Center
PO Box 505
Portland, Oregon 97207 USA

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