Resilience: What does it really take?

ResilienceWe all have aspirations for something.

Even if we haven’t translated it yet into a specific goal, there’s something we want more of, less of or different.

It is the ultimate dichotomy I think of our humanness: We resist change and yet change is what we crave.

The underlying conflict in this seems to be that we want the change we want and nothing else.

We do not want to have to put change to work; we only want change that works for us. And we believe we are the best judge of what that might be.

But the best change quite often masquerades as something else, something perhaps we don’t recognize for its true potential.

That’s the essence of resilience. Being able to recognize opportunity in whatever comes our way. Once we’ve made the decision for what we want, then everything gets put to work to accomplish that. It’s one of the principal lessons I learned from Napoleon Hill’s work, Think and Grow Rich. The decision begins everything. Without a decision, there is no touchstone.

What does it really take then to go from decision to done? What does resilience need in order to work? From studying those that are repeatedly successful it would appear that there are three things that happen with resilience.

First is that everything becomes a resource and gets put to work. You see things differently. You see them through the lens of possibility. You become resourceful instead of just waiting on resources.

Second is a steadfast sense of resolve. Jim Rohn tells the story of a young girl that when asked to define resolve explained that it was a promise you make to yourself. When things go awry, as we know they will, it is our resolve that keeps us on track and moving forward.

The third element is not just what we get in the end, it’s what we continuously produce and that is results. Results are the most effective way to light our path. They show us which direction is working. They guide us along the way. That is why we have to measure from the first step, so we can harness the power of those results, adjusting our sails as we go.

What it really takes is not just one thing, in fact it’s really not a thing at all. When you think about it, what it takes is us. We make the decision, we become resourceful, we resolve to persevere and we follow the best results until we get there.

What is it you want? Decide. Start there. Let it begin.

Live (decide) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (decide) well.

Do you struggle with resilience? 3 warning signs to consider

It’s easy to say that we are resilient. It’s much more challenging to live resiliently. It is one of the most important skills we need to develop. But all too often we wait until we need it to determine if we’ve got it. The reality is that it doesn’t work that way.

Like any skill, it has to be developed over time and begins with our mindset. How we perceive our world will determine how we interact with it.

That is the core essence of true resilience. We stop responding to our world and start interacting with it. We put the energy of what is happening around us to work. We harness that energy and create new opportunities. It is what I have come to think of as moving from powerless effort (responding) to effortless power (resilience).

Recently I have been part of some discussions around resilience and how we develop it. The initial questions focused on how we could determine if it is a skill we have honed or not. After all, it’s not something you can always measure or see until after it has been employed. From those conversations, we determined that there are some warning signs that may be indicators that we need to strengthen that muscle.

Here are the top three:

#1- A higher commitment to the plan than to the result.

It can be dangerous to become overly attached to the road map. After all, roads close and things change. But the end goal is still the end goal. Adjusting the sails is far better than ignoring that the course needs correction.

#2- A driving need to understand the cause of something in order to assign blame, even (or especially) if it’s to yourself.

Things happen. The cause is most likely irrelevant once it happens. The true forward course is not assigning responsibility for why it happened but rather taking responsibility for what to do from there. What does this make possible? Take responsibility for that and it shifts to opportunity thinking.

#3- Your goal list is continuously littered with casualties that don’t seem to ever cross the finish line.

When we find a trend line in something, it means there is a systemic issue causing a particular result. When the trend we see is unfinished work or unrealized goals, it usually means that we are not able to see our way through disruptions, delays or even simple distractions. By analyzing the points where we falter, we can see where we need to shore up our resiliency muscle and put intelligent creativity to work.

A commitment to seeing the possibilities around us naturally develops our personal resiliency. Our life lens is trained to see opportunities for growing and giving in every situation. In a world where we are faced every day with uncertainty, we can thrive knowing that what is uncertain leaves room for infinite creativity.

What if the glass half empty is also half full? What if it’s both and ready for more?

Live today like you want tomorrow to be. Live well.