Question-How does an individual build resilience to face the ever changing environment?
A Great Question by Preeti Subberwal, Life Skills Trainer, New Delhi
As you know by now I don’t think of resilience in isolation. I think of resilience in the context of agility = resilience + responsiveness + reflection. However, we can zoom directly to resilience for this post.
Building resilience is an ongoing process and there are many ways to foster and buffer this capacity. I will only share a few that I think will have the most immediate impact.
First, I think we need to start by acknowledging how resilient you already are. I want you to think of a time between the age of 5 - 7 and something that made you feel either proud or special?
Before we knew about 'ego' or before we experience 'shame' many of us have had experiences that allowed us to illuminate and experience our unique contribution to the world. I like to start with the past because I think people are so used to looking forward to the mountain they are climbing that they often devalue - or forget to honor where they have come from.
Here is one of my favorite quotes that keeps me feeling renewed during times when I might forget how strong, resilient I have been:
“The true result of endeavor, whether on a mountain or in any context, may be found in its lasting effects rather than in the few moments during which the summit is trampled by mountain boots. The real measure is the success or failure of the climber to triumph, not over a lifeless mountain, but over oneself: the true value of the enterprise lies in the example of others of human motivation and human contact.”
— Sir John Hunt, The Last Blue Mountain
Our world fosters competition and it is easy to envy others for what they are accomplishing. What we don’t know is whether the individuals we admire are truly happy and if they are honoring their own life journey. What we know is only our own hearts (even we are mysteries to ourselves). Helen Keller is a wonderful teacher on resilience. I think we need to keep her voice in this conversation:
Second, if you don't have a journal - now please get one. Writing in a journal is a wonderful way to build resilience. The only way we can track how our thinking is changing is by reading our past thoughts and how our focus and language shifts over time.
Many people do not know how to get started. I have a practice I call Plus + / Delta Δ.
At least once per week write down a situation that happened that you were proud of and what actions you took to support a successful outcome Plus +. At least once per week write down a situation that happened that you wish you could have been better prepared for or if you could have a do-over what you might do differently. We think about these things and then ruminate in our heads - but unless we get into disciplined practice and write these things down-- we might set ourselves up for lateral loops instead of progressive learning loops.
Even if you keep a blog - please, please keep a private journal. I think there are some things we need to keep private for our own learning and for our own unfolding.
To keep this post both brief and actionable, the last thing I will share for now is the idea that you create time in the morning for at least 10 minutes to think about how you want to be in the world. I have a prayer and an intention that I say that grounds my day. While we are connected to the globe, many of us are not connected to ourselves, our core. I begin my day with a 10 minute ritual that includes a prayer for safety and a prayer for my intention.
I will be in a lot of noise today.
May I have the wisdom to separate grain from chaff.
May I use my time to honor my long view commitments.
May my interactions create reciprocal value.
May I be safe from energetic and psychological harm.
Finally, may the ripples I create include wisdom, grace, and impact. . .
This is just an example of the type of prayer or meditation that I believe is vital for our practice. Your prayers (requests) might be different. The ripples you desire to create will also be unique. The point here is to claim your space and how you want to be in it - prior to jumping into the water of life on the outside with everyone else’s design.
You are already resilient. Honor how far you have come. Build some additional habits to fortify yourself from the dangers in the macro.
Onward . . .
Read the original post, including Dr Amit Nagpal's response to the same question.