21 Days to Resilience
We all know there is an endless parade of self-proclaimed gurus out there who assure us that they have the answer to whatever challenge we may be facing. Certainly, I’m not one of them. I don’t know the answers; in fact, sometimes I’m not sure of the questions! There is no doubt that all of us want to be happy, want prosperity, want a loving family. But life doesn’t always hand us what we want, of that we can all attest. Even the gurus.
What we all do want is the ability to handle the junk that comes our way and come away with as few scars as possible and lessons that serve us well in the future. We want to be resilient. Not much has been said about resilience. After all, it’s kind of a drab word compared to passion, or happiness, or success. The road to all of those is strewn with pitfalls that we will inevitably fall into, so sharpening our tools of resilience is certain to make that road easier to navigate, if not a lot more pleasurable.
Zelana Mintminy has authored a concise book that lays out simple to follow steps that are designed to strengthen our resilience muscles. I’d go so far as to say that if taken to heart and done with the regularity of a physical workout, they’ll turn us into resiliency Superheroes, at least to ourselves. In it, she sets out to show us how to
- Transcend the Daily Grind
- Deal with the Tough Stuff, and
- Discover Your Strongest Self
Lofty goals for a book of only roughly 200 pages. But she does an admirable job. It’s a worthy read. Meanwhile, here are my takeaways, coupled with my own life experience interpretations.
We’re Not What We Do
But, what we do and how we do it defines who we become. In that process, choosing to be adaptable and fluid in response to each situation builds our resiliency. On the other hand, insisting on a life that is rigid and predictable is not only futile but leads to stress and disappointment. “Go with the flow” is not a throwaway cliche, it’s the recipe for enjoying the journey of life.
Faith and Hope are Tools
Faith is the motivation that drives you to believe in the possibility of your desired outcome. It’s what gets you to reach out for the light switch. After you take the action attached to the faith, then you hope for the outcome to be as expected. Faith and hope are the fluids that fuel the journey to our dreams and goals.
Control vs. Trust
Control is an illusion. Because in the real world, we can control nothing other than ourselves. Trusting – self, others, the “else” that may be beyond our vision, and in the process itself – means we need only guide the boat on the river that flows towards and carries us to our destination. Being adaptable enables us to allow for the possibility that the destination may not look exactly as we had imagined.
Love Thyself and Know Thyself
The ancient Greeks said something like that, remember? It’s impossible to teach what you do not know, to give what you do not possess. Love of self is essential to attaining the destiny of your heart. That is more easily achieved when we experience life will all of our senses. There are more than five, by the way. And more than six. How many? “Although we are taught in school that we have five senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing), the real number is much higher,” says medical specialist HealthStackExchange .
While we interpret the things we sense in the confines of the brain, we experience reality, all of it, outside the brain. Learning to live outside the CPU we call our brain, we begin to more fully experience not only life, but our real selves.
Let Go Of the Need to Possess
It’s been said that death is the great equalizer. We all leave mortality with a sum total of zero. Along the path of life, we experienced many things, some for a short time and some for longer time. And along the path, our experiences are the only evidence we truly possess. Our experiences are the ultimate evidence, to ourselves, that we have lived.
Who’s Got Your Back?
We don’t do life alone. Even as we practice and learn to be resilient, there is a limit. After all is said and done, we are human, with all the physical and emotional limitations of being human. We can amplify our resilience, however, with the others in our life who we know have our back. Our team, what ever it is, is what defines our true power.
Acceptance and Gratitude
It’s okay if you’re not really a Superhero. None of us are. We make mistakes, poor choices, and fall short. Take the lessons of the experience forward to apply to future endeavors. Barbara Streisand once sang “there are no mistakes, just lessons to be learned.” Accept that it’s all just part of the journey.
At the end of the day, we each get to assess where we are in the journey. It’s all too easy to be self-critical, minimizing not only what we have done, but also what is around us. The less you compare – – to others, to celebrities, to your neighbor – – the easier it is to be grateful for what is. Remembering that all that we really have is the sum total of our experiences, we are all very, very rich.
Indeed, no one is a true guru. Except, each of us is to ourselves. If you want to continue deeper into the mystery of “you” and sharpen your skills of resiliency, the book is worth the investment of a few dollars and the time you’ll put into not reading, but engaging it.
8 Tips For Finding Balance in Life By Zelana Montminy