As I get older, I wish to struggle less. This doesn’t mean I’m retiring to my easy chair, which in my weak moments sounds really, really good. It means I am hitting reset and keeping my cool when facing setbacks.
Although we have limited control over what hardships and setbacks we endure, we have considerable discretion of how we frame them and control over how they affect us. Some setbacks may be seen as annoyances that we treat with frustration and even anger. Imagine being knocked around from life’s challenges, but instead of staying down to wallow, be frustrated, angry, or discouraged, you jump right back up and are actually stronger because of them. Wouldn’t that be AMAZING?!
Resilience is the act of building skills and rituals to endure hardships and challenges. It helps us see past problems instead of dwelling on them and feeling victimized.
What if we could time travel and live every day almost exactly the same. The first time, with all the tensions and worry’s that stop us from noticing how sweet the world can be, BUT the second time noticing.
It may mean that the second time we:
- Look up and smile while passing someone, and they smile back.
- stop and listen to someone instead of rushing on.
- choose to make decisions from Love verses Fear, such as choosing to exercise because we want to care for ourselves verses the fear of becoming ill if we neglect ourselves.
- Play our given role well. According to ancient philosophers, we are here to discover the role that’s been assigned to us and play that role well. We can bemoan aspects of life and recognize that we may not have chosen that role, but we can choose to play it well. Friend. Sibling. Neighbor. Manager. Artist. Teacher. Employee. Chef. CEO.
- Find positive change from a negative event. We’ve seen this from Victor Frankl’s experience in a Nazi concentration camp, and when people lose loved ones and come out having gained insight and inner strength.
- Sleep well. Eat nutritious foods. Love abundantly. Exercise our minds.
- Escape the constant push at work by claiming intermittent renewals of energy by stepping away.
- Create a loving, caring, support system.
- Maintain a positive view of yourself and that of your surroundings.
- Manage intense feelings and impulses.
- Accept change as a natural part of life.
- Seek opportunities of self-discovery
- Take care of yourself by engaging in activities you enjoy and find relaxing.
- Do a random act of kindness.
Creating rituals such as these, is key to building resilience which is an emotional muscle that can be strengthened at any time. Resilience isn’t about how to endure, it’s about how we recharge so we can spring back following times of stress, upset and setbacks. If you could time travel, what would you choose to do differently today?
How do you hope to strengthen your resilient muscle this year?