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Blog Learning Resilience From The Rhino

Learning Resilience From The Rhino


The White Rhino is the largest living mammal after the elephant. It is an incredible animal, which is sadly endangered due to being hunted by humans for their horns. There are several species of rhino, who live in different habitats across the world and vary slightly in their nature. From the rhino we can learn some key lessons in resilience, which is the ability to face life’s challenges.

Stay Focussed  

Although rhinos differ in temperament according to their subspecies, with white rhinos being more peaceful, when threatened or angered rhinos will charge forward. They don’t back off easily and their horn is a visual reminder to stay on point and focused on the direction you want to go in. If you have a goal in mind that you would like to achieve, staying focussed on that goal and taking the forward steps needed to achieve that goal will be the key to achieving it. Using pictures and vision boards is a great way to help you keep focused on the end result.

Balance your Time

When it comes to self-care, Rhinos also remind us that there are many benefits to making time to have fun. Rhinos love to roll in the mud. It helps to protect themselves from sunburn and also to remove any insects or ticks that might otherwise bother them. Two things can be learned from this:

The first is to take time to do what you love. Having fun brings many physical benefits as well as being good for your mental health. When you take the time to do the things you love you are better able to relax, your body releases hormones that make you feel happier, increases your motivation and improves your memory and concentration.

The second lesson that we can learn from this is that some of the biggest rewards come from ‘getting your hands dirty,’ in the sense of getting stuck in. If you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve, whether personal or career related, put in the work that is needed in order to get the desired result.

Look At The Bigger Picture

When rhinos charge they often do so from a place of fear and when protecting their territory. Rhinos have very poor vision, so they attack blindly, relying on sound and smell to help them. This actually highlights similar issues that we as humans experience. People often attack from a place of fear, without always seeing, knowing, or understanding the bigger picture. How many times have you criticised your parents for a decision they made, which you later learned for yourself was absolutely the right decision. You just didn’t have all the information and experience needed to understand it and see the full picture at the time. How often have your children criticised you for a decision you have made, for which you know they don’t see the full picture, but will understand in time?

This happens on a much larger scale in workplaces, countries and across the world. Everyone makes good decisions and bad decisions, but do both sides really see the full picture and the potential impact of those decisions?

The lesson we can learn from the rhino for yourself is to step back from that place of fear, to try to see things from different perspectives, using all your senses and skillsets to help you understand any situation that is bothering you. By stepping back from the emotional response and making time to understand a situation, you are more able to rationalise that situation and therefore feel more at peace within yourself as a result.

Adopt a ‘Thick Skin’

Rhinos have very thick skin, with some Asian varieties having the appearance of wearing armour. This protects rhinos from the heavy blows and sharp teeth of some of their predators. Metaphorically, this can serve as a physical reminder that whilst not everyone you meet will agree with you, or even like you that’s fine. We are all different and you don’t need to let the opinions of others get to you. As mentioned above, many people perceive things from a place of fear or from a personal viewpoint that is limited by their own experiences, which may be completely different to yours. Develop your own ‘thick skin’ and don’t allow their views to bother you. Accept that other people have their truth and you have yours and move on from it.


Resilience is an important skill to develop in order to become happy and confident. It’s about facing the difficult times and overcoming your difficulties or having the ability to carry on regardless. This is such a valuable lesson to learn and it can have a huge impact on emotional and mental wellbeing. Teaching resilience to children from a young age can really help to secure a happier and more successful future.

As a primary school teacher and SENDCo I have seen so many children struggling with their emotional wellbeing and to build the key skills needed to build resilience. That's why I created LLAMA Meditation


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