In January Nathaniel Schooler and I wrote a book on resilience for our publisher. We have created a series of audios to introduce the topic and here is part one “acquiring resilience”. We really hope it delivers value to your life.
Welcome to the first step of acquiring resilience into your life! You will find many tools and resources to help you on your journey in the coming weeks. Whether you are beginning your first job, or are a CEO, or somewhere in between, acquiring resilience is crucial to your balance, happiness, and success.
When you hear the word resilience, it may sound hard and tedious. And, of course, adding new characteristics to your personality doesn’t happen overnight. It takes everyday practice. However, you are halfway there with a bit of help, support, and guidance from the series of audios we are producing.
We will be working within the following fields to create a breakthrough for you.
Initiate new behaviour
Empower inner strength
According to Oxford, Resilience is “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
Acquiring resilience will assist you wherever you are in life; it could be that you are facing divorce, illness, instability, lack of confidence, worry around competitors or suffering a general lack of direction. No matter what you are facing, controlling your frame of mind and how your emotional state affects you is crucial. Resilience is the most critical skill and can be improved with the correct methods and support. All of us have experienced tough challenges in one way or another.
If we observe people, we can see that some bounce back relatively fast, while others stop in one place for the rest of their lives. My previous neighbour often said that he hadn’t finished building the house’s second floor because he had lost all feelings of joy for the house when his wife left him. After hearing the story a couple of times, I asked him when she had left. He said: “37 years ago.” For 37 years, he hadn’t found the strength to carry on with life.
What makes some people bounce back stronger than ever? How do they rise from ashes? It is precisely what this book is all about. You will receive the tools to cope with stressful times, sad events, and the puzzle of life.
Why is it important to be resilient in today’s society?
Were you the one who quickly recovered from September 11, 2001, or when you were diagnosed with cancer or lost your position in a corporation or when you lost your money on the stock market? Resilient individuals are the ones who start to rebuild their lives shortly after a tragedy. When life suddenly forces you to take involuntary gulps of water, will you cough and sink or swim? In this book, Resilience for All, we will give you all the guidance, support and tools you need in order to be a good swimmer.
We are herein concentrating on resilience for all individuals within a corporation. In our next book, we will return to the actual organisation of a corporation and its challenges with operating in an unpredictable world, but for now, we look after the individuals.
Can one prepare for a disaster? Usually not, for it not to happen, but you can train your mind and develop necessary traits. Today, the world is full of catastrophes, many related to the climate such as hurricanes, floods, fires, and they will of course still occur, however the big difference is how you react to them. New Zealand is prone to earthquakes and has been so for centuries. In 2011, Christchurch had three major earthquakes and another one in 2016. Some people were waiting (and are still waiting) for the government to come and give them new abodes while some collected driftwood and started to build new homes – not only once – but over and over again. What is it that these people have that those who are waiting do not have?
1. They have a good insight into their circumstances and how to change them
2. They do not blame anyone
3. They have the ability to solve problems
4. They are not afraid to ask for help, support and guidance
5. They usually have a huge network of people who can help them in different situations
6. They have strong mental focus, do not create dramas nor drawn into them
7. They have better coping mechanisms for handling stress
8. They set goals that they do achieve
9. They take daily actions, do not let a small problem become a big one
10. They try again and do not give up.
1. Do you want to stop being unhappy? Stop thinking of yourself! Be generous
Over the coming weeks, we will be posting our study into resilience and we hope that episode one acquiring resilience helps you to get started on your journey. If you would like to read the transcript we have included that below.
Here is the full transcript to Acquiring Resilience: Build Business Acumen Podcast 64
Well, I am privileged today to be joined by Nelly Sheen. And we’re going to be talking about resilience, excuse me, making some noise with my glasses there, but we’ve been writing a book on resilience for our publisher. And it’s, it’s been an interesting journey. We’ve been learning so many things about resilience about, you know, why people are resilient, why you need to be resilient. It’s just such a big subject. I didn’t even dream that it was such a big, big subject because you have business resilience and you also have people which are, which need to be resilient. Right. Nellie.
So, this is just, I mean, we unpacked so much stuff in so few words really, to be honest. And it was, it was just, it was, it was emotional. Yeah. Really like, you know, reading about Viktor Frankl about, you know, man’s search for meaning how, how he managed to move beyond his current state of reality to maintain a level of happiness that well enabled him to live is probably how I would describe it. If you haven’t read the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It’s, you know, he was in Auschwitz and it, yeah, it was, it was, it was emotional really, to be honest. And I know you studied some other people as well in this journey that we went on together.
Yes. Thank you for that, Nathaniel. I did often you think that you know everything about a person because you have seen the headlines in media, but then you sit down and study their lives and you realize that so much they have enjoyed and survived. And now I am first and foremost, thinking of Nelson Mandela and being imprisoned for 27 years and then coming out and forgiving, everyone had put in there in the first place and giving out love and care and you cannot see a strike or anger or irritation or hate or anything. So, I think he is also one of the role models I have for resilience. People who really have come out of that misery, the sadness, the tragedy or whatever. So, he is one of them. Definitely.
Yeah, I know he was, he was, he’s an inspiration. He was an inspirational man. And you know what? He must’ve endured in those 27 years. I mean, you know, it’s a bit like Terry waits as well. Like Terry Waite was, was arrested and he was locked up for a long, long time as well. And these people that they sort of learn, they learn how to really control their mind. I mean, that, that’s the thing that I took from Victor Frankl. And, you know, I mean, we’re going to delve a little bit further into that in future conversations in this, in this series. Right. But taking the time to really delve into Victor Frankel and these kinds of people and how they managed to control their minds it’s fascinating, really
And when you study them, you’re also realized that there is a method, there is a structure, and it needs to be followed every day. It’s not anything you can jump on the wagon for a couple of days and then leave it. You need to be so dedicated if you haven’t been dedicated in your life before, this is rightly a good chance, a good opportunity, a good reason to be here because I can promise Jade, whoever you are listening out there, that you will change your life with these practices when it comes to resilience. Definitely. But you need to hang in there. And I didn’t say that it was easier. And I didn’t even say that it goes fast on the contrary. It takes time, but you have time. You absolutely have time because you are going to improve your life. So of course, you have time.
Yeah. I mean, I think what I took away from is that the more you are able, because it’s so connected with your emotions, right? And the more you’re able to control your emotions in life, really the better decisions that you, that you make generally in, in that’s my opinion. Yeah. Some people may disagree with that, but I, I, I personally think that if, if, if I could have controlled my emotions, like perhaps when I was buying something, I didn’t, I couldn’t afford. Yeah. As an example, or I was, you know, maybe having that one last beer, right. Or, you know, there are many instances whereby we allow other people’s emotions and, and our, and our situations and our environment to choose almost to force us into a position of unhappiness. And, and that’s what I, I really got from this sort of an understanding of the queen of England and her polies, the way that she, you know, I mean, I wrote about her cause obviously I’m British and, and you know, you’re over there, Australia sometimes and Sweden sometimes. And so, I kind of thought, you know, I’m going to study the queen and I thought, and I thought, you know, she’s showed up. She showed up continually for decades and coached, you know, people’s prime ministers never told anyone anything and always maintained this level of what, what would you call it?
I would, I would call it absolutely dignity. And, that no one approached her unless you were asked to do so. Integrity is another word coming to mind. And still, I mean, she is facing so many catastrophes in her life. They are lying on top of each other and I’m not even going to go into the last one that is going on now, but to have to deal with things like that at that age in life, that is admirable really, sorry. So, she is also somebody that I hold really, really high. And I’m another person that come to mind, even though I know that he was not the best and kindest person on earth, but he did a lot. That’s why we are having the development we are having now, technically, and I am thinking of Steve jobs that after being kicked out from his own company, then to come back and still carry on, fighting, fighting, fighting, and then come back in the old position that he had of the 10 years. I think that also shows that you can reach the goal you want to reach. If you persist. It is a lot about persistence. It’s a lot about to stick to what you want to achieve and don’t give up that road.
Absolutely. It’s, you know, I watched the Steve jobs movie because you were, you were writing about Steve jobs for the book. And I was, I was watching the movie whilst you were writing. And so I found your, your kind of explanation about Steve jobs. Very, very interesting. And you know, we’re going to delve into that in a little bit more detail in future recordings. Right. But so, so about your neighbour, you talked about your neighbour??
Yeah, my neighbour, he doesn’t live here anymore, said safe to talk about him. He often talked about devastated. He was over that his wife had left him and if she would only be in his life, he would then have finished the house. He would have extended it, painted it and do all sorts of things. But because she had left him, he didn’t have any urge to basically do anything. So, I heard the story repeatedly, and I thought, I must ask him, when did, when did she leave? How long have you been living there? And he used then saying, oh righty. I think it must be 37 years now, 37 years had kept him from fixing anything in the house and with himself and whatever. So, I’m thinking that, you know, you, we can also blame other people for ourselves not doing anything. And that is one of the reasons that is one of the characteristics that the person who is working with resilience, they never blame anyone. They just put down their head and work. And I think that is a good personality to have, to not blame anyone.
Absolutely. Because then you’re giving away responsibility, aren’t you? So, you’re, you’re almost saying, well, it wasn’t my fault and you’re trying to pass the buck, aren’t you? But, I mean, it’s taken me, I’m 45 now, but it’s taken me a long time to accept the fact that I’m in control of my life. Right. And I’m in control of how I show up if I show up, if I don’t show up and that’s my responsibility to, to maintain a professional demeanour and a professional career move, you know? And, and I think that it’s hugely important. So how do you live every day to strengthen your resilience? That’s the question I’d like to ask you?
How many minutes do you see we have for this?
We’ve got about, well, we’ve got a couple about three or four minutes,
Three or four minutes. I will do it by being aware. That is not the one to think about it. I mean, that is the first thing I think about in the morning when I wake up and I decide what this day is going to be about. And it’s the last thing I go through before falling asleep and in between there and checking in with myself, or am I doing this right now? Is this really what I’m thinking? Is this what I want to do? And something that always helps me two things or three, one is books to read books. The other one is to write them. The third one is to be out in the forest. And that is really, helpful. Or when I’m in Australia is the beach. So, nature is a really good help when you want to stay on the path of resilience.
Right. So, so we’re really, we’re really talking about the connection between resilience and self-care, right? I mean, that’s, it’s self-care, right? Like, and that’s so important these days. So, the way I understand it now from experiencing it is resilience is built your own way. Right? And so, you get to choose the tools that you use. You get to choose the ways that you use them, and you get to choose. Right. It, that’s how I sort of understand it from all these methods that you outlined in the book from your experience. So, I think it’s, I think it’s just something that you’ve just got to do. As you say, every day, right? Every day you wake up in the morning and you choose your mindset, and you say, you know what, yesterday was tough, but today it’s better and every day is a new day. Right. And it’s a new chance to improve, you know?
Absolutely. That is a good, good summary of all of that. Thank you for summarizing it so well, thank you.
Absolutely. Thank you. Well, I think, I think this wraps up this, this, this conversation, and we will, we will definitely be getting more into this topic throughout, throughout the next few audios. I think we’re recording a series for the publisher of 10, so it should be very, very interesting. Fantastic. Thank you,
Nelly. Thank you so much.