resilience: (noun) - the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
I got wind of a book related to resilience last week, and in true Robin fashion, I pulled up Audible first, to see if the title was available as audio; it was, and I had a credit available to shoot it right to my phone and iTunes account for immediate listening...cool beans!
As an avid reader, I really dig being able to read or listen to books on a variety of platforms. My intention is to have access to all of them (hee, hee), but I'm sure I've missed a platform or two. If I hear about, though, I'm on it. Isn't technology wonderful?!?
OK, moving back to the topic at hand . . .
The book's title is, Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed. It seems to be right in alignment with Brené Brown's latest work, Rising Strong. I caught most of her interview with Oprah again this past Sunday morning and their conversation was especially tasty since I was in the process of digesting my way through Chapter 3 of Stronger.
In Stronger, which is a little heavier on the research side than most self-help titles, the three authors (a stress management expert, a skilled entrepreneur, and a Navy SEAL) seem to be quite thorough in their efforts (at least through Chapter 3) to dissect this topic and provide some practical guidelines around how we can achieve personal resilience and protect ourselves with what they refer to as our psychological body armor. I love that, psychological body armor; it paints quite a strong visual that I'm eager to carry with me going forward.
In the early chapters after laying the groundwork, they list five core factors that allow us to survive and prosper:
They also sprinkle their summary with noteworthy quotes; here are two that I just had to stop and jot down:
I will, most definitely, write more about both of these quotes in future posts! Both gave me pause, as I've spent some time delving into the topics of failure and courage. Particularly, because the fear of failure is like a boomerang, which paralyzes most. And, many will admit that, like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, they too are in need of courage. I find it fascinating how we perceive each, which depends so much on what we've nterweaved into our personal stories.
Both come up consistently in my consultations with work life designers - students and more mature members of the workforce - when discussing necessary action steps on the path to meaningful and fulfilling work. Paralyzed with fear, many haven't figured out how to muster up the courage necessary to leap from mediocrity to distinction, but are eager to do so.
I could write a whole chapter, perhaps a book about my thoughts on these two books, but I'll share one more interesting tidbit of info and tie a bow around this post (really this book review).
After listing the core factors, they spend time discussing each one in detail, they share some questions to consider and provide some insight into how we can develop these traits. I really like the layout of the book.
They begin with active optimism. As a card-carrying optimist, this made me smile. I've learned how to look for the lessons, opportunities and possibilities in just about every situation. Over the years and with dedicated practice, I've polished this trait and watched it get shinier and shinier, as I recover quickly from challenges and adversity, and intentionally look for the silver lining. This approach serves me well!
At the beginning of their discussion around crisis and active optimism they write, "When written in Chinese, the word crisis is expressed with two characters, those characters may be interpreted as danger and possibility. It has been suggested, therefore, that a crisis represents a dangerous opportunity, but only to those who possess the vision to see it, that's active optimism."
After mentally munching on this for a bit, I've grown quite fond of this description and believe there is much we can glean to ease our journey through tough times. A healthy dose of active optimism is the first factor in assembling this psychological body armor.
More to come on this topic in future posts as I continue reading, mentally munching and heartfully marinating on this timely subject. I'm also eager to interweave some of Brown's words from Rising Strong, where she makes a powerful contribution to deconstructing resilience.
Aspiring Sage, Creative Maven, Fancier of Books, Guardian of Student Experiences, Inner Explorer, Lover of Living & Learning, Partisan of Play, Princess of Joy, Purveyor of Possibility, Vibrational Recalibrator.