The Polar Vortex: Your Risk Assessment

I heard from a number of people last week about whether the canceled schools, closed coffee shops and businesses, delayed mail delivery and (OMG) neglected beer drop-offs at neighborhood bars was a sign that we’ve all become weak and overly coddled.

I pushed back on this even though I discuss the fact in The Resilience Advantage that there is research about how children are more shielded from risk today than in previous times with the result being that they may not have enough routine opportunities to build their own resilience to challenges.

I ran into a motorcycle cop friend at my gym this week and asked him if he rode during the Polar Vortex. He told me he had to, otherwise he would fall to the scorn of the “old timers” who would tell him he was a wimp.

Shaming is always such a good strategy for building toughness.

I didn’t have to work in the cold this week, but I was out in it for a while several times. I triple layered, moved with purpose and focused on anything that would get my mind off my own cold feelings. I even made sure Cody had a scarf although he mostly toughed it out.

In the end, it was kind of an adventure. We were all presented with an opportunity to experience mother nature in her unforgiving glory. We survived it, have stories to share and are even more appreciative of our spring preview weather we’re having this week.

We’re presented with opportunities every day to take on new challenges. Some are imposed on us and some are staring us in the face hoping we take them on to see if we can win the day. It’s not about being tough of wimpy, but being smart.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2019


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