Resilience is something that I believe we are born with, but as we age and start to interact with the world we loose the ability the deal with pressures and stresses. So, we have to learn resilience again, and by looking at resilient people we can aspire to stand against the buffeting of life. So who are some resilient people to look up too and what are their qualities that make them resilient in the first place? Cause, well, I know you want to know, so you can work on becoming resilient also.
Instead of quoting the more well known resilient people of our times - Einstein, Gates, Disney, and the likes, here are a few lesser known people who showed a resilience of spirit -
1. Socrates - sentenced to death, he didn't give up on his "new" and "crazy" ideas, instead he kept right on teaching them to those that wanted to know. Aren't you glad he did?!?
2. Emily Dickinson (and basically every woman writer from pre-1900's) - failed to have any significant works published during her lifetime, but continued to write because she that was who she was and how she expressed herself in very oppressive times.
3. Vincent Van Gogh - Sold just one painting in his lifetime, but again, creativity cannot be stifled, and we are now reaping the benefits and pleasure of his paintings. Imagine if he had stopped because he wasn't selling?!?
4. Tim Ferris - the writer of "The 4 Hour Work Week" was rejected by 26 publisher's before he received that one chance he needed. He recognised that you don't give up at the first hurdle; and now he's changing lives.
5. Paul McCartney - yes ... you read right! Paul was rejected from the Liverpool Cathedral Choir because he, supposedly, couldn't sing ... their loss is all I can say. Without Paul there would have been no Beatles! So glad he persisted with singing!
So, what is it about these people (and many many others) that makes them succeed in some shape and form when the world seems set against them?
Resilient people are firstly aware, awareness of what is going on around them and within themselves enables them to be prepared for any obstacles or stresses that may arise. When you are open to the world in this way you can also see the bigger picture - that rejection, that loss, that failure, is just a moment in a great long life of possibility - so resilient people, in being aware, know they can't give up, ever!
Secondly, they understand that life is chaos and that the only thing we can control is our response to things, crisis arise, problems pop up, but resilient people calmly move through them and move forward. Failure is failure, it is inevitable, you are deluded if you think you are immune to it, but resilient people don't dwell on this, they embrace the chaos and chance of life and continue to plug forward, knowing that with hard work they will eventually see results.
Thirdly, they don't walk through life as an individual, they walk through life as part of a team, with mentors, coaches, and a support crew, resilient people can face anything the world throws at them. Seeking out those that can help you, that are equally resilient, will not show weakness on your part, in fact it shows absolute strength and an unshakeable belief in what you are trying to do - cause, well, if you didn't believe in what you were trying to achieve, you wouldn't care so much about success.
Lastly, resilient people are particular about their self care, they know when they have to look after themselves, and they will take the time to make sure they are physically and mentally well. Creating a mental or written list with options to go too for self care is an excellent idea from Karen Horneffer-Ginter. I have a few things that I do to re-energise and deal with life stresses, I do yoga (even a short session of 15 minutes can provide my mind and body with stress relief), a cup of tea, a walk outside, watch an episode of me favourite t.v. show, do some craft . . . it really is all dependent on the individual, but it provides you with the space to be resilient.
So ... are you ready to cultivate resilience in your life? Comment below with your thoughts and ideas.