Eye of the Tiger


Bomp. Bomp Bomp Bomp. (jiggah jiggah*) Bomp Bomp Bomp. Bomp Bomp. BOMP! Come on, admit it, you started to sing it in your head. Don’t lie. I see you trying to hide your wide 1980’s nostalgia grin. That’s right, raise your hands up with your rock fist**

*(Jiggah Jiggah = the gibberish term for guitar playing that you hear in Eye of the Tiger in-between the bompbompbomp’s. Go listen to it you’ll see what I mean)

**(rock fist = the act of pumping a closed fist, or two, up into the air to the beat of the music. Do NOT attempt at work.)!

The rock band Survivor released their seminal hit Eye of the Tiger on May 31st, 1982. It was the theme song for the movie Rocky III. It sold 2 million copies on vinyl and since 2015 has sold 4.1 million digital downloads. In a word, the song is resilient.

Speaking of resilience, that is the topic of this blog. First, a definition of the word itself:

Resilient: (Adjective): “(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.” Ex. “Babies are generally far more resilient than new parents realize.”

Did you know you are very resilient? Don’t believe me? Here are a few reasons why I can tell you that you are resilient and never met you. You survived the chickenpox. You survived the pandemic (that’s quite resilient). You survived your mom making you finish the one food you couldn’t stand _______ (asparagus and chicken livers was mine. My dog saved the day on more than one occasion). You survived reading this far into the article.

See you are resilient and maybe didn’t even realize it! Resilience is an attribute that will take a person very far in life. But how does one become resilient? Is it genetic? A learned behavior? Both? Neither?

Mayo Clinic to the rescue! By the way, for a top research hospital, I am surprised they have not acquired a sponsorship with Hellman’s or Duke’s Mayonnaise (which brand do you prefer?). I digress. Anyway, Mayo Clinic has some great advice on how to become more resilient. Check this out. Here are their 6 tips to cultivating resilience in your life.

  1. Get Connected – Talk to someone. Form relationships. If you don’t have any friends, reach out and be a friend to someone. They’ll be glad you did and so will you. We are not meant to walk in this world alone. We need connection. We need understanding, love and support from other people. And we need to share the same with others.
  2. Make Every Day Meaningful – Aren’t you glad you woke up this morning? Did you know that so far in 2023 over 5.1 million people have died? Today is the best day of your life. Make it meaningful. Pursue your dreams. Do what makes you happy. Arrive at the grave sweaty and out of breath because you lived so intensely making every day meaningful and making every day count!
  3. Learn from Experience – There is a bumper sticker that says something like, “Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid”. Obviously, it is a joke and meant to make you laugh. But, it is true. The context here may seem insulting because it is making fun of people who are neurodivergent academically. Maybe so. However, I see it as talking about making unwise decisions. Experience is a great teacher, IF, we choose to let it teach us the lessons we need to learn in order to grow into the best version of ourselves. Next time you make a mistake, see if you can practice self-love and forgiveness. Then, ask yourself what you can learn from that mistake. How can you become even better as a person for having had that experience and the lesson(s) that came with it?
  4. Remain Hopeful – There is an acronym for the word H.O.P.E. which stands for Hold On Pain Ends. There is always hope. Without it, the world would be a pretty bleak place. Hope is also a choice. I hope you choose hope. See what I did there?
  5. Take Care of Yourself – It seems obvious but self-care is the best care! If we do not take care of ourselves, we will succeed in destroying our resilience. Eat your vegetables. Take your vitamins. Exercise. Listen to Survivor for goodness sake.
  6. Be Proactive – They say knowledge is power. I say baloney. I say knowledge RIGHTLY APPLIED is power. For instance, from the previous entry, you now know the importance of taking care of yourself. Great! Knowing and doing are two different things. You have to engage in action to get what you want. Want that beach body? Get to the gym. Want better grades? Stop skipping class. Want that promotion? Assassinate the competition. Wait. Scratch that. Blow them out of the water with your overall job performance. Scratch that. Be nice to your competition. The only competition you have is yourself. Take action. It is everything.

So what have we learned? We learned that a band called Survivor (which takes resilience) had a huge hit with their song “Eye of the Tiger” which is a phrase that hints at resilience via concentration, practice and optimal performance. We learned that the Mayo Clinic does NOT have a sponsorship with Hellman’s or Duke’s mayonnaise. Tragedy.

In closing, as a PRS, you model resilience to those you serve. Your lived experience is a testament to your inner resilience. The peers you are serving and will serve in the future are looking for a reason to believe that they too can be resilient. In the words of Chumbawamba in their song Tubthumping, “I get knocked down but I get up again you ain’t ever gonna keep me down”.

~ Chris Newcomb

Chris Newcomb is the VPRSN Coordinator for MHAV. In his spare time, he is a singer-songwriter who will be releasing his debut album in 2023. It will not include a cover of Eye of the Tiger. Although come to think of it, he just might. He is resilient on Tuesdays and Thursdays and most Fridays.


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