Strength Is a Skill

 Strength Is a SkillI love epiphanies, those magical moments when an unexpected thought shatters a long-held belief and introduces a new line of thought completely.  I had one yesterday when my friend Frank said, “strength is a skill”.  He was referring to strength training, I think, but his words went off like a bomb in my head and I realized that inner-strength – the glue that keeps us in the game of life through all of its unpredictable and crazy twists– is a skill as well, something to be developed, honed and appreciated.  In hindsight, I guess I thought strength was something one had or didn’t, that the fragile ones were destined to be fragile, forever bruised.  But I knew in that moment that Frank was right.  Strength is a skill.  And if strength is a skill to be developed, so is every other human quality.

It seems that I’ve developed strength by the boatload, hard-earned and precious, and I’m proud of how I’ve chosen to live since the day I left MIT.  I have more admiration for human resilience and reinvention and much more compassion for humans of all circumstances.  Oh, and I’m free….

Judgment is an occupational hazard of college admissions.

Admissions officers are forced to sort and parse applications as if they were real human beings (which they aren’t), quickly dismissing the unrealistic choice in favor of the Flavor of the Day that serves the institutional need.  That real person, that ‘unrealistic choice’, takes the hit of rejection and makes of it what they will.   With any luck, inner-strength is born and with even more luck, will pay dividends later in life.

It is crucial to teach kids that every human quality can be cultivated and mastered.  Anyone can literally become the person they want to truly be by focusing intention.

Practice does make perfect.

Less Stress, More Success

"Her book has added to her reputation as a kind of guru of the movement to tame the college admissions frenzy.”
New York Times
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Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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