man and woman in black coat sitting against brown wall
E,  Four Foundations

Brick Wall? Go Around!

Feeling a little down?  Like your star hasn’t risen high enough? What about your kids? How are you doing with the idea of letting them occasionally bump into a brick wall or two? It’s hard, isn’t it?

It’s difficult to watch our loved ones solve their own problems, but I still think it’s a whole lot easier to fall on our faces with a loving family standing by to pick us up. Who else is going to remind us: failure is an experience — not a person?

[bctt tweet=”Who else is going to remind us: failure is an experience NOT a person.” username=”AndreaPatten”]

 Achievers are resilient.  While it may look like they’re immune from life’s bumps and bruises, they’re not. Resilient people have simply learned how to bounce back.

Brick wall

[bctt tweet=”Resilient people have simply learned to bounce back better.” username=”AndreaPatten”]

Remember, Randy Pausch and The Last Lecture?  In it he said, “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out.  The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.  Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

When faced with an obstacle we often get so focusing on solving a specific problem that we blind ourselves to other solutions. A brick wall can represent an opportunity to step back and begin again, even better.

Sometimes a lateral move will be enough to get us around the obstacle — but we can’t stand and stare, nose pressed against it, obsessed with “what’s wrong” and expect to see something different, can we?

[bctt tweet=”We can’t stand there, obsessed with ‘what’s wrong’ and expect to see something different.” username=”AndreaPatten”]

Here are a few examples of people who learned how to bounce:

  • Creative genius Walt Disney was once fired because he “had no good ideas.”
  • Music legend Elvis Presley was banned for the Grand Ole Opry after only  a single performance. He was reportedly told, “You aint’ goin’ nowhere, son.”
  • The work of legendary children’s author Dr. Seuss was initially rejected by 27 different publishers. His work has sold more than 600 million copies.
  • Vera Wang tried for a spot on the Olympic ice skating team and a stint as a writer before becoming a world-renown designer.

When you let your kids develop problem-solving skills you’re giving them bricks. Will they use them to build walls or dreams?


Let’s connect on social media.


  • peggy

    Can I just tell you how many brick walls I’ve hit? let’s talk about bouncing back. I’ve got so much bounce people used to call me Tigger 😉 I LOVE my brick walls. Okay, maybe not when I run smack dab into it but in hind sight, it’s like “Holy Hallelujah! That was a tough nut but ya cracked it!”

    And low and behold, I have 2 kids who are a chip off the old block and 4 stepkids who picked up on resilience pretty quickly.

    Bounce baby Bounce!

  • Andrea Patten

    What do you mean “used to” call you Tigger… don’t they still?

    Yeah… somehow I have this image of one of those ‘super balls’ — hitting the wall and being catapulted into another dimension.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  • barbparcellswritingalife

    I find that as I’ve gotten older, I bounce back a lot faster than when I was younger. Experience is a great teacher. My 10 year old granddaughter, who has ADD, is determined to become the next Rachel Ray. She doesn’t see brick walls, she sees ways to climb over them!

  • Sheila Callaham

    I’m always so inspired to read about people who have risen to great things through challenge, adversity, trials and tribulations. We need more stories like this! Thank you!

  • kelleygrimes

    I love the statement failure is an experience not a person. Thank you for this important reminder!