Have you ever noticed how resilience is held on a pedestal? It’s that intangible something that allows people to rebound after setbacks, tragedy or suffering. And it turns out that most people really are resilient. It may take some longer than others to move through adversity to a happier time, but most eventually recover their joie de vivre.
What are some of the factors that foster resilience? Strong, trusting relationships; holding a positive view of yourself; the ability to make realistic plans and stick to them; managing emotions effectively; viewing yourself as a fighter, not a victim.
The American Psychological Association offers 10 suggestions for building more resilience. Here are five of them:
Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. Interpret and respond to stressful events in a way that gives you hope for change rather than a sense of despair. Don’t blow a situation out of proportion.
Accept that change is a part of living.You might not be...
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” — Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and consultant
Have you ever considered the mixed messages about failure in our culture? Riding a bike is the metaphor we often use in talking about failure. We encourage children to believe that they can learn the tricky balance required to ride only by falling repeatedly, brushing away the scrapes and the tears and trying again. Yet as they move through elementary, middle and high school, children are often given the message that failure is sign of weak character or for losers. The message is this: Failure is not an option!
We suggest that the first message is the right one: Failure does, indeed, ultimately open the door to success. Here are a few other things to keep in mind about failure:
Failure helps you learn...
Often, we long for something, but don’t know what it is. We dream our big dreams, but don’t know how to achieve them. Having a clear vision — clarity — is often difficult when it comes to deciding what we want in life. But it’s so vital to setting goals and achieving them!
Here are some ideas to help you get the clarity you need:
Put it down: Put your dream life on paper, but think ahead to the life you’d like to be living in five or 10 years. Is it filled with friends? Does it entail a partner or children? Do you see yourself reveling in being alone? What makes you happy? What do you visualize yourself doing — making music, teaching, brokering business deals or gardening? How would you like to make a living? How much of a living? Flesh out the dream with details. Do you want to live in a city, a small town or the country? Which region of the country or the world?
Consider relationships: If it’s in your relationships with...
What is the one thing that not one of us can avoid but which we can influence for good or for bad? Aging! Day by day, we grow older. For some, that realization packs a fear-inducing wallop. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can embrace reality and choose to age well, which will influence both your well-being and your actual experience of aging.
Here are some tips for staying young at heart — even if you are no longer physically young.
Stay mentally active. Whether it means entering a Scrabble tournament or volunteering on a political campaign, stay engaged with the world. Make friends, including younger ones. Read a book, watch a movie. Remain curious about the world and the people in it.
Be social. Friends are incredibly important to our well-being and can actually help protect us from some mental health maladies. Wondering how to meet people? Perhaps you could join a civic organization or volunteer for a non-profit.
Be active. Aging is much easier for...
“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” — Jean Houston
Do you have any idea how good laughter is for you? Increasingly, science is finding that laughter is a natural balm. It can actually induce changes in your body, according to the Mayo Clinic, which says laughter has these physical benefits:
It stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles because of the intake of oxygen-rich air, and increases your brain’s release of endorphins.
It fires up and then relieves your stress response, which results in a good, relaxed feeling.
It soothes tensionby stimulating circulation and aiding muscle relaxation.
But as great as the physical benefits are, laughter also is good for our mental health and social connections. It’s hard to feel sad, angry or anxious when you’re laughing. Have you ever noticed how a good laugh sticks with you, brightening the rest of the day?
How often have friends advised you to “trust your gut?” It’s an inelegant way of describing an important tool each one of us has: intuition. But what is intuition? It’s that built-in ability to understand something without needing to consciously think it through.
Intuition sometimes gets short shrift in this data-driven world. Rational decisions based on the facts are prized, while behavior based on hunches is scorned. But that’s shortsighted. Our intuition, residing in our unconscious minds, can make connections between feelings and experiences to predict outcomes. Heeding both the facts and our intuition can lead us to make the best decisions for our happiness, our families and our futures.
Here are some ways to develop your intuition:
Journaling. Writing in a journal is a good way to get in touch with your thoughts. Even if what you write doesn’t make a lot of sense, it gives you more self-understanding. Keeping a journal can...
We all have gifts, talents and strengths, but do you know what yours are? Until you identify your special “powers,” you may be spinning wheels, letting fear of failure or inadequacy sabotage your plans.
Everyone has times of self-doubt, when the inner critic makes it difficult to see clearly. The first step to overcoming this is to become aware of it. Is your motivation based on fear or is it based on a conscious decision about how you want to live your life?
Here are some other steps toward identifying your super powers:
Name your special abilities. We are born with gifts and talents, and some of them are easy to recognize from an early age. What do you love to do and what do you do well? Strengths are something we develop, often because they are where our passion lies. Knowing your strengths is a big part of self-awareness.
Identify your values. What actions or beliefs matter to you? What would give you a sense of purpose? What are you most passionate about? What...
You may have heard this quote before: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” It’s attributed to the Greek philosopher Epictetus, but it’s as applicable today as it was in the first century. We humans, apparently, have always had the tendency to speak more than we listen. But listening is such a valuable skill in personal relationships and in the workplace! Here are a few tips for becoming a better listener:
Listen more than you talk. You can’t do both at the same time, so choose the former. When you’re tempted to interject or speak over your conversation partner, consider your motive. Are you interested in communicating or pontificating? Why not wait until the other person is finished and wants to hear what you have to say?
Eye contact. It’s important to meet your partner’s eyes. Not only does it communicate that you are interested, it also keeps you focused on what the person is saying....
You may have heard us say that having an “abundance mindset” is a good thing, but do you wonder what the heck we mean by that phrase?
It’s all about the script we run in our heads, which guides our thinking and our actions. In this model there are two basic mindsets: a scarcity mindset, and an abundance mindset.
If you’re guided by a scarcity mindset, you are prone to discontent and an easy mark for marketers because you can never have enough. A scarcity mindset causes you to feel like opportunities are always slipping away. You feel limited and often jealous. Sometimes, this mindset makes people selfish because they feel like others must lose or fail in order for them to succeed.
An abundance mindset, on the other had, is about realizing the breadth of opportunities for all people to flourish. When you adopt an abundance mindset, your vision expands, limits become elastic, and you become a more generous, expansive person.
Author John C. Maxwell,...
There’s plenty of advice out there about what it takes to be a leader, but one aspect is often given short-shrift: Leadership is as much about the heart as it is about the mind. ”I shouldn’t be making emotional decisions,” you might say. To that, we say “Go right ahead!” You shouldbe making emotional decisions.
You are a human being. You are an emotional creature. To shut off your emotions would be like shutting off the valve to a crucial aspect of your being. The key is not to make decisions in an emotional vacuum, but to be able to moderate your emotional response. A Harvard study found that it is absolutely possible to use your emotions in effective decision-making.
Try it with your next big decision; combine the power of your mind and heart. Use logic and reason to shape your emotional response to a vexing problem, particularly one that deals with other people. After all, it’s hard to be an effective leader when you...
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