Words of Wisdom for the New Year from the Dali Lama

 

 

Resiliency 2021 would like to share some Words of Wisdom to guide your way into the New Year. Our Team wishes everyone a year of love, laughter, strong connections, and good health.

 

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for all your actions.
  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
  6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  8. Spend some time alone every day.
  9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  15. Be gentle with the earth.
  16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
  18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

                                         THE DALI LAMA

Cultivating One’s Inlets: Resilience in the Face of the Quarantine by Matthew Alexander PhD

 

Eastern Long Island is known for its inlets. As its name suggests, inlets are bodies of water that flow inward. They are very beautiful in that they are surrounded on several sides by land and are a place where the sea meets interior bays and waterways. As a child, I summered in East Quogue on the South Shore of Long Island and have many happy memories of enjoying the incredible inlets this part of the country offers.

It struck me recently that the broad concept of inlets…the idea of going inward… is a relevant one to all who are challenged by the Quarantine. I was speaking with several clients recently who were complaining that since the onset of the virus, they have lost all of their “outlets” leaving them feeling empty and stuck. My response to these clients is to recommend that they develop their “inlets.” Since so many of the outgoing activities that we call “outlets”– eating out, clubs, parties, sporting events – are currently off-limits, I think one productive way of coping with the shutting down of our “outlets” is to develop our inner lives, our “inlets.”

The inescapable truth is that many people use their “outlets” to escape from themselves. In fact, most people are relatively unaware of their inner lives; the great mystic Gurdjieef said that over 90% of people are in a permanent state of hypnotic unawareness.

Cultivating your “inlets” may take different forms:

● Tracking your dreams every night. Dreams are metaphors for concerns we have during the day that we are too busy to notice. Don’t jump out of bed, lie in the position you were sleeping in, let the dream emerge (we are usually in the middle of a 45-minute dream when we awake), and then write it down. In trying to interpret the dream, ask yourself, “What is this dream a metaphor for? How does it relate to my waking life?”

● Reflecting on your life to this point — What are your core values? What are you most proud of? What do you still wish to accomplish or experience?

● Developing a new or existing hobby. Painting, writing, fixing bikes, learning a new language are just a few examples of meaningful hobbies.

● Learning to meditate and deeply savor the beauty around you. There are many wonderful books on mindfulness meditation by such authors as Thich Nhat Hanh

● Spending two hours per week in nature. Some refer to the process of being in the woods for an extended period of time as “forest bathing.” When surrounded by nature, try to turn off your thoughts and focus on the sights and sounds around you.

● Reaching out to friends, particularly those who are lonely and struggling.

● Setting goals for physical health and slowly working toward achieving those.

 It used to be said that the Chinese symbol for crisis has two meanings: danger and 0pportunity. While the truth is that the symbol for crisis does not mean this, it still provides a useful metaphor for the challenges we all face during the Quarantine. Developing one’s inlets is a way of finding opportunity in the midst of the forced shut down of our “outlets” brought about by the CoronaVirus. And so, I encourage you to stay safe, stay healthy and develop your “inlets.”

 

 

Matthew Alexander, Ph.D. is a licensed practicing psychologist, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and an internationally recognized speaker and author of multiple books and articles on “cinemeducation”, the use of movies as a teaching tool. He is also an award-winning singer-songwriter whose 7th CD of original music, Soul River, charted at #11 on the Folk Alliance International Radio Charts in November, 2020. Find out more about him at his websites: www.alexandertherapy.com or www.alexandertunes.com and hear his music on his Pandora Channel, MatthewAlexanderRadio.

Staying Close While Staying Apart- Monica Parker

The planet is resting but we are restless. We are out of sorts. Our plans have been disrupted and we are scared what the future may bring, or worse…not bring. A future interrupted and completely stalled. No money. No direction other than being confined to home. Straightjacketed as we try to tame our claustrophobia. When we break free it’s as if we are in an endless corn maze, as we walk 6’ feet apart, desperately seeking a way out. . We all pray that this invisible equal opportunity destroyer of our hopes, dreams, lively-hoods and lives can be brought to heel.

This is when resilience is truly required. I know this, in order to live a quality life it’s a very necessary component. But what exactly is resilience? To my mind, in it’s simplest form it’s similar to the coating one finds on non-stick frying pans. Bad things can be made to slide off. But like bobsledding or axe throwing, it’s a skill that requires practice.

Into every life there are troubles big and small. Right now, we are dealing with the biggest trouble of all. This ravaging death stalker called the Coronavirus. Its tentacles are everywhere, but we can’t see them, except in the body count which is climbing every hour and every day. Of course, we are scared. We don’t know which way to point our sword. How can a little facemask and endless hand washing protect us? But they do! So does this uncomfortable, ill-fitting idea of distancing ourselves from our friends who we lean on in times of trouble, and now we can’t. But we are not on our own. We are sharing this daunting time with not just family and friends but with our entire planet.

How we handle these troubles is what makes us or breaks us. Remember, we are not defined by our circumstances. It’s the way we respond that defines us. Resilience and flexibility is what we all need to make it through these moments when the unexpected awful comes our way. I really believe that faith is the unsung companion necessary to make resilience whole!  Don’t spend too much time alone in your head. It can be very weedy and dark in there. Find someone to talk to, or laugh with, even if it’s online…or pick some flowers and make them into a bouquet. It’s always about making the best out of every situation. That’s our path forward.

 

Monica Parker, author, actor, humorist and inspirational speaker with the ability to find gifts amongst the ruins. Monica is part of the Resiliency 2021 team and the soon to be released book “Oops I forgot to save:  It is never too late to save yourself”

10 Habits of Highly Resilient People-Bryan Robinson PhD

 

 

It’s not accidental that some people are happier and more successful than others. What are they doing that separates them from the pack? They make resilience and well-being top priorities. 

A Winning Frame of Mind

Michele Sullivan, former president of the Caterpillar Foundation, was born with a rare form of dwarfism that created many challenges in her daily life. She is the epitome of a resilient corporate leader, having once told me: “For you, having a door held may be a very nice gesture from a stranger. For me, it is a requirement to enter most buildings that do not have automatic doors. It requires me to ask for a lot of help, and once I finally learned to embrace that reality, the universe answered back with thunderous support. Where I had once seen obstacles, I changed my perspective and viewed them instead as advantages. I now call this the ‘Looking Up’ philosophy and it is how I live my life each day.”

Michele is so caught up in looking at the advantages that they eclipse her losses. She’s a challenged woman living a rich life, simply because of her perspective. Few of us have Michele’s challenge and still have difficulty coping. Compare Michele’s perspective to that of Ralph, who came barreling into my office during tax season, slinging his backpack onto the sofa and spouting curse words. When I asked him what was the matter, he groaned that he had to pay a half-million dollars in taxes. When I asked how much he made for the year, he offhandedly mumbled, “Oh, five or six million.” Ralph was so caught up in his loss that it eclipsed his gain—a rich man living an impoverished life.

Some people are born with pit-bull determination, less affected by stressful situations, and more resilient to change. Others are more vulnerable to the arrows of everyday pressures. But regardless of where you fall, you can cultivate a winning frame of mind also known as a growth-mindset coined by Carol Dweck of Stanford—the belief that defeat happens for you, not to you. If you have a growth mindset, you consider success and failure a package deal—like a hand and glove, milk and cookies, flip sides of the same coin—twins not enemies. It’s an understanding that avoidance of failure morphs into avoidance of success. To attain what you want, you recognize you must be willing to accept what you don’t want. Instead of giving up, you welcome obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments—no matter how painful, frustrating, big or small—as opportunities to grow and learn instead of as defeat.

You think of defeat as a personal trainer when hopelessness sets in after a setback: an impossible deadline, a lousy review from your boss, a missed promotion, or the rumble of your own self-doubt. You tell yourself you want to give up, but you don’t really want to quit. You just want the hurt and disappointment to stop, understandably so. At the time that might feel like the only option, but it isn’t. Perhaps you haven’t actually failed. Chances are, “failure” is what you call it when you don’t meet your expectations, things don’t turn out the way you planned or you’re simply traversing a valley that everyone goes through before reaching the mountain of success. Failure is heartbreaking, but it can also be an impetus to keep going when you possess the following traits:

 

10 Habits of Highly-Resilient People

  1. Grow a thick skin and expect rejection and setbacks. Commit yourself in advance to facing the many smackdowns you will encounter like all happy people before you.
  2. Ditch the desire for comfort and step into growing pains. Be willing to go to the edge of your emotional pain so you can be fully present with what lays beyond the barrier.
  3. Be willing to postpone immediate gratification in the short term for the fulfillment of your goals in the long term.
  4. Cultivate spring-back sustainability. Think of yourself as an elastic band that bends and stretches to a certain point before you spring back higher than you fall.
  5. Refer to previous experience. Reflect on past obstacles you’ve overcome in your climb. Point to lessons learned and your personal resources and underscore ways you have grown stronger through past hard knocks.
  6. Identify self-doubts that have cramped your work style or crippled you from growing fully. Harness them—instead of running from them—and channel them into useful skills so they don’t paralyze you.
  7. Stay off the roller coaster. Manage the ups-and-downs of your life by treating highs and lows equally. Celebrate the highs but don’t take them any more seriously than the lows, and don’t take smackdowns any more seriously than upswings.
  8. Eschew the what-the-hell effect. This attitude only adds insult to injury. Face letdowns by taking the towel you want to throw in and use it to wipe the sweat off your face then ask, what you can learn that will help you grow.
  9. Practice positive self-talk and optimism. Avoid negative put-downs and criticisms. Instead of bludgeoning yourself after a setback, give yourself positive affirmations and encouragement to get back in the saddle.
  10. Catch yourself when you fall. After a setback or discouraging situation, your motivation bounces back quicker when you support yourself with compassion. Instead of kicking yourself when you’re down, be on your own side, wish yourself well, and be your number one cheerleader as you progress in your goals.

How to Sustain Your Resilient Zone

Once you have these habits in your hip pocket, the rest is up to you. You start to accept failure as an essential stepping-stone to success, you give yourself permission to make the mistakes necessary to get where you want to go. The more you accept failure, the more opportunities you have to accept success and bounce back higher than you fall. And every time you fail—instead of giving up—you do what every resilient person before you did: Take the towel you want to throw in, wipe the sweat off your brow, and plot your next forward move.

 

Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist, journalist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of more than 40 books, including #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life and Daily Writing Resilience. Learn more at www.bryanrobinsonbooks.com.

 

And the Word of the Year is Resilience- by Arianna Huffington

 

 

Last month, Collins Dictionary unveiled its word of the year: “lockdown,” defined as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction and access to public spaces.” As Collins explained: “We have chosen lockdown as our word of the year because it encapsulates the shared experience of billions of people who have had to restrict their daily lives in order to contain the virus.” Meanwhile, Merriam-Webster went with “pandemic,” with runners-up “quarantine” and “asymptomatic.” And the Oxford English Dictionary, instead of choosing a single word, issued a 38-page report analyzing the use of dozens of words, including “coronavirus,” “doomscrolling,” “social distancing” and “systemic racism.” “Given the phenomenal breadth of language change and development during 2020,” the report explains, “Oxford Languages concluded that this is a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single word.”

I disagree. There is a single word that sums up 2020 and does encapsulate, in a deeper sense, the shared experience of billions of people this year. That word is “resilience.” The Oxford Dictionary defines it as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.” It’s that quality that allows us to overcome challenges, obstacles, hardship and adversity, instead of being defeated by them.

The reason “resilience” is my word of the year is because, unlike quarantine and coronavirus and social distancing, resilience is the only one that’s going to be just as relevant when the pandemic is over. Resilience is the quality that was summoned in us by all the challenges of 2020. And it’s also the quality that’s going to carry us forward into 2021.

Resilience is often spoken about — including in the Oxford dictionary definition — in terms of navigating or simply getting through challenges. But the key part of resilience isn’t about bouncing back, it’s about bouncing forward. It’s about using adversity as a catalyst to get better and become stronger.

Of course, we’ve always needed resilience. But what we’ve learned in 2020, at both the individual and collective levels, is that at a time of so many losses and such deep uncertainty and anxiety, we simply can’t do without it. Right now we’re all waiting for a vaccine to bring the pandemic to an end. But our challenges won’t end when the pandemic does. And resilience is the vaccine we already have — it’s our immune system for the inevitable ups and downs of life. Just as with our body’s immune system, the hostile agents are always there and always coming at us. Resilience allows us to tap into deeper resources in ourselves we didn’t even know we had, not just to overcome the obstacles but to be transformed by them. 

Certainly it’s not hard to see the urgent need this year for resilience. According to a recent C.D.C. report, 41% of Americans have struggled with mental health issues, like anxiety, depression or substance abuse related to the pandemic. The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America report found that nearly 8 in 10 adults say the pandemic is a major source of stress, and 60% are overwhelmed by the issues currently facing America. And suspected overdoses went up 18% in March, 29% in April and 42% in May.

These are depressing numbers, but an important thing to remember is that though our need for resilience is endless, so is our capacity for it. It’s not a finite resource, or a quality we are born with that we cannot develop later in life. But as Norman Garmezy, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota and a pioneer in studying resilience, found there are “protective factors” that make some people better able to handle adversity than others. Indeed, Emmy Werner, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, followed high-risk children for 32 years and found that the resilient children, even as toddlers, “tended to meet the world on their own terms.” However, as Maria Konnikova wrote in The New Yorker, “some people who weren’t resilient when they were little somehow learned the skills of resilience. They were able to overcome adversity later in life and went on to flourish as much as those who’d been resilient the whole way through.”

So the power to build resilience is within us; just as we can learn other skills through practice, we can teach ourselves to be more resilient. “We can make ourselves more or less vulnerable by how we think about things,” George Bonanno, a clinical psychology professor at Columbia Teachers College, said, “Events are not traumatic until we experience them as traumatic.”

Though the science unpacking the psychological and neural mechanisms of resilience may be recent, in many ways, it’s confirming a concept that’s been at the heart of spiritual and philosophical traditions for millennia. In the Bible, we’re told that “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love.” Lao Tzu, the 6th century B.C. founder of Taoism, taught us that “if you correct your mind the rest of your life will fall into place,” and that “knowing others is knowledge, knowing yourself is wisdom,” while in the Bhagavad Gita, we’re reminded that “happiness arises from the serenity of one’s own mind.” 

Stoic philosophers understood this well. As they have taught us, while we can’t control what happens in the external world, we do have control over our inner world and how we respond. For Epictetus, this meant that “men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by the opinions about the things.” In other words, do we see crises solely in terms of the havoc they have wrought, or also as opportunities to get stronger and grow?

Science has confirmed everyday ways to nurture our resilience through sleep, taking time to unplug and recharge, gratitude, social connection and the belief in something larger than ourselves. In an interview about her work on resilience, Emmy Werner talked about the role spirituality plays in cultivating greater resilience. It’s not about any one organized religion, but what “faith provides for you as an emotional support, as a way indeed of making sense of your life and your suffering, and also as a way to help you become a chain that you yourself give back something to others who have given to you. That’s a very, very important part of the community of faith that should be more appreciated by people that either want to foster resilience or study it.” In other words, we draw strength and support the community, and also from giving back, which studies have shown creates a “helper’s high” that has a powerful impact on our resilience and well-being. “There is a lot of evidence that one of the best anti-anxiety medications available is generosity,” Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton, said. “The great thing about showing up for other people is that it doesn’t have to cost a whole lot or anything at all, and it ends up being beneficial to the giver.”

If you’ll forgive a proud mother moment, my daughter Isabella has written about the connection between pain, resilience and spirituality in her first book, Map to the Unknown, which was released as an Audible Original last week. It chronicles the story of what happened after she was hit by a bike in the streets of New York. What began as a concussion became three years of debilitating pain, but also a transformative emotional and spiritual journey of learning to trust the universe and her inner voice. “When something senseless happens that our minds can’t explain or justify or control, it’s a fork in the road, a moment of choice,” she writes. “One fork is to go into despair and cynicism and raging at the universe (which is the route I first chose), or if you never believed in anything as amorphous as God or the universe, you can double-down on how meaningless life is. Or you can choose the other fork: starting the journey to finding deeper meaning in even the most senseless events in your life. You can let your loss and pain be the catalyst that divests you of whatever is not needed and takes you to the core of who you are.”

This has been a tragic year for so many — a year of so many losses and so much grief. And yet, what the science and wisdom of resilience show us is that, as horrible as this year has been, the long-term impact on both our individual and our collective lives as a society is not predetermined or fixed. It’s no coincidence that the group of people whose lives were shaped by the Great Depression and World War II were branded The Greatest Generation. This has been a year in which we’ve learned what we need and what we don’t need, what adds value to our lives and makes us stronger, and what depletes us. By tapping into those parts of our lives that many of us were ignoring or not tending to before this year, we can nurture our resilience and create a new normal for 2021 — one that’s not simply going back to the pre-pandemic status quo, but one that’s a better normal. It’s our resilience that offers us a chance at true transformation, allowing us to go deeper, connect with what we truly value, grow and expand.

It’s a common refrain on social media to want to say goodbye to 2020. But our goal should be more than to just get through 2020, which will pass no matter what we do. The new year will inevitably come, but what kind of year will it be? What lessons will we carry with us to shape it into a year of hope and possibility? How will we have been transformed based on what we have experienced? That is up to us. And the more we summon and strengthen our resilience, the more we can bounce forward into a new and better year. 

Pump Up Your Resiliency Quotient-Dr. Joy Miller

 

 

  

  • Watch for positive changes you make and be sure to witness them.  Celebrate the dedication you are making as you build your gratefulness quotient.
  •  See the world from a position of positivity. Look for the good in the world, and attempt to visualize life filled with abundance vs. scarcity.
  • Look at situations as opportunities to learn new strategies for moving through an obstacle.  Be creative, limit your impulsivity, and be open to new ways to look at a situation and possible outcomes.
  • Be open to friendships and connections. Research shows that the most resilient people are the ones who have strong connections in their life.
  • You have a choice. You can look at the glass as half-full or half-empty.  The choice is yours.  Either the world is open to the beauty it possesses or it is filled with obstacles… which do you choose?
  • Look for opportunities. The Universe is holding them open for you, and you just have to keep your eyes open… your ears clear…and your arms open.
  • Be willing to be vulnerable. Be willing to touch your feelings. Open yourself to others and ask for what you need.
  • Accept that change is a natural part of life. Change helps us grow and teaches us new methods for looking at life and its possibilities.
  • Move forward with your goals but do so in small measured steps. This will encourage success and the possibility for you to celebrate the little accomplishments along the way.
  • Be grateful. Miracles surround you.  Be open to seeing what lies before you!

 

Joy Miller PhD., LCPC, MAC is the CEO of Resiliency 2021. She is an author of 7 books and also the CEO of Joy Miller & Associates.

How to Pump Up Your Resiliency Quotient-Joy Miller PhD

 

  • See the world from a position of positivity. Look for the good in the world, and attempt to visualize life filled with abundance vs. scarcity.
  • Watch for positive changes you make and be sure to witness them and celebrate the dedication you are making to be grateful and aware of new insights.
  • Look at situations as opportunities to learn new strategies for moving through an obstacle. Be creative, limit your impulsivity, and be open to new ways to look at a situation and possible outcomes.
  • Be open to friendships and connections. Research shows that the most resilient people are the ones who have strong connections within their life.
  • You have a choice. You can look at the glass as half-full or half-empty. The perception is yours. Either the world is keeping you open to beauty or it is filled with obstacles. Which would you choose?
  • Strengthen your esteem by saying something positive to yourself each day. Look in the mirror and say something positive about how you look, what you did today, what you are going to accomplish, or the type of person you are. Do the same thing for someone you love each day and watch the change in them and your relationship with that person.
  • Look for opportunities. The Universe is holding them open for you, and you just have to keep your eyes open, your ears clear, and your arms open.
  • Be willing to be vulnerable. Be willing to touch your feelings. Be willing to share and ask for what you need.
  • Accept that change is a natural part of life. Change helps us grow and teaches us new methods for looking at life and its possibilities.
  • Move toward your goals, but do so in small measured steps. This will encourage success and the possibility for you to celebrate the little steps along the journey.

Be grateful. Miracles are all around you if you take the time to just look.

 

Joy Erlichman Miller PhD. is the director of Joy Miller & Associates and Resiliency Forum and also an adjunct professor for Bradley University. She is the author of 7 books.

10 Habits of Highly Effective People: How to Develop These Traits if You Don’t Have Them.

Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”—Paul Brandt

 

It’s not accidental that some people are happier and more successful than others. What are they doing that separates them from the pack? They make resilience and well-being top priorities. 

A Winning Frame of Mind

Michele Sullivan, former President of the Caterpillar Foundation, was born with a rare form of dwarfism that created many challenges in her daily life. She is the epitome of a resilient corporate leader,having once told me: “For you, having a door held may be a very nice gesture from a stranger. For me, it is a requirement to enter most buildings that do not have automatic doors. It requires me to ask for a lot of help, and once I finally learned to embrace that reality, the universe answered back with thunderous support. Where I had once seen obstacles, I changed my perspective and viewed them instead as advantages. I now call this the ‘Looking Up’ philosophy, and it is how I live my life each day.”

Michele is so caught up in looking at the advantages that they eclipse her losses. She’s a challenged woman living a rich life, simply because of her perspective. Few of us have Michele’s challenge and still have difficulty coping. Compare Michele’s perspective to that of Ralph, who came barreling into my office during tax season, slinging his backpack onto the sofa and spouting curse words. When I asked him what was the matter, he groaned that he had to pay a half-million dollars in taxes. When I asked how much he made for the year, he offhandedly mumbled, “Oh, five or six million.” Ralph was so caught up in his loss that it eclipsed his gain—a rich man living an impoverished life.

Some people are born with pit-bull determination, less affected by stressful situations, and more resilient to change. Others are more vulnerable to the arrows of everyday pressures. But regardless of where you fall, you can cultivate a winning frame of mind also known as a growth-mindset coined by Carol Dweck of Stanford—the belief that defeat happens for you, not to you. If you have a growth mindset, you consider success and failure a package deal—like a hand and glove, milk and cookies, flip sides of the same coin-twins not enemies. It’s an understanding that avoidance of failure morphs into avoidance of success. To attain what you want, you recognize you must be willing to accept what you don’t want. Instead of giving up, you welcome obstacles, setbacks, and disappointments—no matter how painful, frustrating, big or small—as opportunities to grow and learn instead of as defeat.

You think of defeat as a personal trainer when hopelessness sets in after a setback: an impossible deadline, a lousy review from your boss, a missed promotion, or the rumble of your own self-doubt. You tell yourself you want to give up, but you don’t really want to quit. You just want the hurt and disappointment to stop, understandably so. At the time that might feel like the only option, but it isn’t. Perhaps you haven’t actually failed. Chances are, “failure” is what you call it when you don’t meet your expectations, things don’t turn out the way you planned or you’re simply traversing a valley that everyone goes through before reaching the mountain of success. Failure is heartbreaking, but it can also be an impetus to keep going when you possess the following traits:

10 Habits of Highly-Resilient People

1. Grow a thick skin and expect rejection and setbacks. Commit yourself in advance to facing the many smackdowns you will encounter like all happy people before you.

2. Ditch the desire for comfort and step into growing pains. Be willing to go to the edge of your emotional pain so you can be fully present with what lays beyond the barrier.

3. Be willing to postpone immediate gratification in the short term for the fulfillment of your goals in the long term.

4. Cultivate spring-back sustainability. Think of yourself as an elastic band that bends and stretches to a certain point before you spring back higher than you fall.

5.  Refer to previous experience. Reflect on past obstacles you’ve overcome in your climb. Point to lessons learned and your personal resources and underscore ways you have grown stronger through past hard knocks.

6. Identify self-doubts that have cramped your work style or crippled you from growing fully. Harness them—instead of running from them—and channel them into useful skills so they don’t paralyze you.

7. Stay off the roller coaster. Manage the ups-and-downs of your life by treating highs and lows equally. Celebrate the highs but don’t make them any more seriously than the lows, and don’t take smackdowns any more seriously than upswings.

8. Eschew the what-the-hell effect. This attitude only adds insult to injury. Face letdowns by taking the towel you want to throw in and use it to wipe the sweat off your face then ask, what you can learn that will help you grow.

9. Practice positive self-talk and optimism. Avoid negative put-downs and criticisms. Instead of bludgeoning yourself after a setback, give yourself positive affirmations and encouragement to get back in the saddle.

10. Catch yourself when you fall. After a setback or discouraging situation, your motivation bounces back quicker when you support yourself with compassion. Instead of kicking yourself when you’re down, be on your own side, wish yourself well, and be your number one cheerleader as you progress in your goals.

How to Sustain Your Resilient Zone

Once you have these habits in your hip pocket, the rest is up to you. You start to accept failure as an essential stepping-stone to success, you give yourself permission to make the mistakes necessary to get where you want to go. The more you accept failure, the more opportunities you have to accept success and bounce back higher than you fall. And every time you fail—instead of giving up—you do what every resilient person before you did: take the towel you want to throw in, wipe the sweat off your brow, and plot your next forward move.

 

Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist, journalist, and Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of more than 40 books, including #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life and Daily Writing Resilience. Learn more at www.bryanrobinsonbooks.com.

 

 

 

Keys to Enhancing Your Gratitude Quotient-Joy Miller PhD

 

 

Resilient people have the ability to see the world through the eyes of gratefulness. They are aware of the abundance of life and focus on the positives even when times are difficult. During those times of difficulty, they mentally “reframe” situations to include hopeful statements, look for possibilities, create options or strategies, and believe in their ability to make a change (no matter how small).

Here are a few methods for increasing your gratefulness:

  • Keep a gratitude or blessing journal. Find a time each day to write in your journal and include the events, comments, or occurrences that brought you joyful gratitude today.  HINT: Many people find it helpful to set aside a consistent time each day to focus on gratefulness. Perhaps, you could determine a specific time before you go to bed to devote to this practice? Maybe a good time might be when you sit at your kitchen table having a cup of coffee in the morning?
  • Be grateful for your senses. Take some time each day to notice how your senses enhance and create powerful images for you to capture.  Breathe in and feel the coolness of the air inside your lungs; close your eyes and feel the breeze as it tingles on your arms and face; gaze at the magnificent sunrise and witness the magical colors that fill the sky; close your eyes and smell the freshly cut grass in your neighborhood. The options are limited, and they all train your mind to focus on the miracles around us for which we can be grateful.
  • Learn prayers of gratitude. These prayers can be spiritual or they can be meditative or affirming.  The key is that resilient people believe that they are connected to the world and everything that surrounds them.
  • Grateful people are watchful of the mental messages that they give to themselves. Too often we are our own worst enemy and we fill our cluttered minds with self-defeating messages about our deficiencies and mistakes.  Resilient people “feed” their minds with positive messages and intervene with negative self-messages that destroy our self-esteem.
  • Vow to practice gratefulness. Commitment is an important component to enhance your gratitude quotient. Without a personal pledge to focus on a change, your goal will soon become just a passing thought.
  • A playful technique for practicing gratitude. Each morning we go into our bathroom and wash our face, brush our hair, and stare into the mirror.  What if that mirror could remind you to be grateful?  Here’s how:  Take a steamy shower in your bathroom and allow your mirror to get covered in fog.  Now take your finger and write GRATEFUL on the mirror. You’ll be surprised because each day when the mirror fogs up you will see the word GRATEFUL appear. You now have created a lasting reminder that magically appears each time you stand in front of the mirror.  (you could also put a post-it note on your mirror, but that might not be as magical).
  • Watch children play. Children enjoy life to the fullest, and the smallest things make them squeal with excitement and joy.  A little stick can become a magical wand, a dandelion that explodes in the wind can make them smile, and a lightning bug can create a night filled with chasing and laughter. Resilient people have the ability to look at life with playfulness as they replenish the joy in their lives.

View the world from a framework of positivity.  Resilient people see a life filled with abundance vs. scarcity– so fill your mind with some positive thoughts.

Joy Erlichman Miller PhD. is the director of Joy Miller & Associates and CEO of Resiliency Forum. Miller is also an adjunct professor for Bradley University and she is the author of 7 books.