We’re all beset with difficulties, obstacles, pain, tiredness, and a thousand other setbacks, small and large.
What determines whether we take these setbacks in stride, or let them bring us down, is something that psychologists call “resilience.” It’s an ability to come back from setbacks, adapt, learn, but not be dragged down by these setbacks.
I’ve found resilience to be an important factor in my own journey, from struggling through finances and health changes over the years, to navigating the scary and uncertain waters of running my own business.
Resilience has allowed me to:
- Run several marathons and an ultramarathon (among other physical challenges) despite injuries and other training setbacks.
- Write numerous books and courses, even in the middle of personal challenges, fears, delays due to procrastination, and more.
- Face challenges such as debt or declining income with a positive attitude, and deal with the challenges as they come.
- Raise six kids (with perhaps a little help from my wife) no matter what difficulties they face, or what personal baggage I’m bringing as a father.
- Deal with deaths in the family with an open heart, not only finding compassion for my own grief but helping my family members in the midst of theirs.
None of this is to brag, but it’s to show the power of simple resilience. I’m not greater than any other human, but resilience has helped me deal with these difficulties, as I’m sure it has for many of you.
It’s such a powerful thing, resilience … but how do you develop it? Because make no mistake: it’s a set of skills, a set of capacities, that can be developed over time. Some people might be born with greater tendencies toward resiliency, but we can all get better at it.
I’m going to offer a set of practices that you can work on, if you want to develop extraordinary resiliency. I hope you find them useful.