Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe.

(If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.)

Latin Proverb

+ + +

What you saw last night in New England’s victory in the Super Bowl was mental toughness. That is what this team and organization stands on, what it teaches, what it shows time after time – but especially last night.

In the first half of the game, “the wind did not serve,” but giving up or giving in was never an option.  They kept their eye on the goal – they “went to the oars.” Focused, worked harder, made some adjustments, executed their assignments – individually and as a team.

In this, the Patriots are very much the spirit of New England.  I know, I grow up there. It is still my home.  Its people are still my neighbors.  We saw their mental toughness in the Boston Bombing and the ensuring hunt for the perpetrators.

So what is “mental toughness?”  It is a way of being.  A way of living.  It says, “Expect adversity – it is part of life.  Learn from it; it will grow you in strength and wisdom, compassion and understanding.  It will humble you.”

It is the product of faith – confidence in the God who creates all and expects your full commitment to living.  It makes of one a family with others who commit to facing life and bringing their best no matter what happens.  It sharpens one’s focus.  It sees in the half-empty glass, the opportunity for a full glass.

It is a way of thinking, a way of life – a cultivated habit.

Things go wrong – no problem. Just work through the obstacle.  Keep at the task. Be more committed.  See the task through to the end.  Fear not.  Life is a gift, its problems included – for what they teach and the strength they cultivate in us.

Last night we saw something very, very special.