I grew up believing that my very Swedish grandmother was invincible and slaying a dragon would be no big deal. Not that she spent one minute of our 21 years together trying in any way to convince me of her super powers.
I somehow just knew she was like a knight, a powerful Viking Swede who, at will, could prove her prowess.
I have spent a lifetime trying to understand her brave valor. She was a master of standing up taking advantage of her Swedish “edge”.
Maja’s legendary heroic edge did not fade as childhood grandma worship turned to adult skepticism. Maja’s life lessons she taught grew larger as my own dragon slaying experiences humbled me. Her strength stands tall, as tall as any Viking biographies have shown.
My book: My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute is a chronicle detailing my hunt to discover what made her tick. Was it her DNA? Heritage? ancestry family traditions? culture?, practice,?upbringing and pre-adult life experiences?
What made her resilience tick? What was her edge that carried the day calling forth a second wind driving her, propelling her forward. What was her edge?
Laura Huang in her insightful newly published book asks the same kind of question. Her book appeals to those who get trampled, are underestimated, under equipped to conquer tough situations. She, like me attempts to decode how breakthroughs take over and rise above breakdowns.
Grandma Maja had a very “stacked deck” of life situation cards in terms of being forced to play with handicapping conditions,-like widowhood, single mothering during economic times that drive many to suicide.
In researching this topic and dissecting Maja”s gritty gumption toolbox I discovered what the Scandinavian Finnish people call, “Sisu”
What are the characteristics of edge that are brought to bear in the face of adversity for Finns?Swedes? Everybody?
Grandma Maja could not possibly have a “sisu edge” because it is said to be clearly part of the Finnish culture. Maja was a 100% Swede.
It took me a whole book attempting to summarize and apply to Maja’s life story what is known about grit and sisu and other names given to the mysterious character it takes to defeat adversity.
I am a proud graduate of Maja’s School of Hard Knocks. I majored in adversity engineering. I was taught how to be an entrepreneur builder of bridges that gain the edge, the advantage resourcefulness when trouble comes calling.
Maja’s children also went to Maja’s Swedish American College. The curriculum was heavy in to studying Swedish heritage, ancestry, survival of the fittest training, academics, psychology, self discipline, spirituality, motivation, hard work, practice, resilience attitude after failure, goal setting, teamwork, and heavy course work in leadership and teamwork.
Laura Huang’s book instructs that four factors can lead to edge:
Enrich, Delight, Guide, Effort.
She finishes her book with listing a summary of 13 principles. I am continuing to study Luang’s very positive, rather theoretical ideas.
In many ways she reinforces what I discovered in practice, during my research about discovering Maja’s edge factors.
During many discussions with Grandma Maja I found we were very much in agreement concluding that much of her resilience performances connections to her early formative years in Sweden. Much of her edge points to her Swedish learning environment and experiences.
To this day, after 72 years of life, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate earned degrees, book writing, speaking to audiences all across the globe, Grandma Maja’s Swedish life lessons are applicable every way and offer in theory and practice a wonderful edge.
Thank you Maja.