The Weakest Link
Remember the saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Strength is a wonderful asset to have if you happen to be arm wrestling or playing tug-of-war. Those are examples of physical strength, but mental and emotional strength are qualities of uncommon valor, too. Mental strength (mental toughness) gains high marks when it’s put against intelligence and physical strength.
Angela Duckworth, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted studies on achievement in correlation to a West Point summer initiation program called “Beast Barracks.” Along with Duckworth, cadet researchers have found that “Beast Barracks is deliberately engineered to test the very limits of cadets’ physical, emotional, and mental capacities.” She gathered information on 2,441 cadets. The data included their high school rank, SAT score, Leadership Potential Score, Physical Aptitude Exam, and Grit Scale (which measures perseverance and passion for long-term goals). Strength, smarts and leadership were runner-ups to grit. According to Duckworth, the bottom line is that “In every area of life- from your education to your work to your health- it is your amount of grit, mental toughness, and perseverance that predicts your level of success more than any other factor we can find.”
Emotional and mental strength are each one link united in the chain. Emotional strength delivers self-control on the path to achieve desired goals.
Matagorda County is known for its community strength. It’s staggering to see the amount of people involved in the preparation of an event site (i.e. Camofest, Full Moon Food Truck Festival or the Rotary Summer Concert), from the moment the first truck rolls in with equipment and supplies. But before physical strength comes into play, citizens involved with planning and development work tirelessly to reach the point of “boots on the ground”. The elements of mental, emotional and physical strength are required in order to produce a successful outcome.
Matagorda County’s community chain is only as strong as its weakest link. As citizens, business owners and all levels of city leadership, let’s bypass our egos and personal agendas in favor of building a strong, united community. Let’s leave the arm wrestling and tug-of-war to the kids on the playground.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on July 3, 2016.