A little bit of Resilience …

We certainly live in interesting times…Coronavirus and Ciara wrecking havoc…not to mention the big P… (No not Politics…Planets 😊 !)

A lot of my ramblings today have been gleaned from a host of articles read this week, ****I just edited many of them together 😊, hands and fingers were not attending the party this week (unfortunately)

In this current time it pays to be Resilient…but what exactly is this Resilience thing?

As a “rubber guy” (No…a polymer science guy !!!) that’s relatively easy to explain ..the ability to rebound following pressure/force/compression…never mind !

I guess being resilient is to a certain degree being stubborn, hard-headed, focussed …not wanting to admit defeat even. Perhaps those are just the drivers behind being resilient…I wonder ?

Seems it is a little more complicated (or simpler …)

Resilience does not equal optimistic (not entirely).

Digging a little deeper I came across something called “The Stockdale Paradox”…who knew !

The Stockdale Paradox is named after Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was a United States military officer held captive for eight years during the Vietnam War.

Stockdale was tortured more than twenty times by his captors, and never had much reason to believe he would survive the prison camp and someday get to return home and see his wife again.

And yet, as Stockdale revealed in Good to Great, he never lost faith during his ordeal:

“I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

Then comes the paradox.

While Stockdale had remarkable faith in the unknowable, he noted that it was always the most optimistic of his prison mates who failed to make it out of there alive.

“They were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

What the optimists failed to do was confront the reality of their situation.

They preferred the ostrich approach, sticking their heads in the sand and hoping for the difficulties to go away.

That self-delusion might have made it easier on them in the short-term, but when they were eventually forced to face reality, it had become too much and they couldn’t handle it.

Stockdale approached adversity with a very different mindset: he accepted the reality of his situation.”

There’s a lesson in there – “Accept your reality” !!!

Identifying as a Survivor, Not a Victim

When dealing with any potential crisis, it is essential to view yourself as a survivor. Avoid thinking like a victim of circumstance and instead, look for ways to resolve the problem. While the situation may be unavoidable, you can still stay focused on a positive outcome.

“This your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth.”

 Nothing more. Thank you Morpheus 😊

I also came across this beautiful little quote this week, too good not to share here.

“If you can’t adapt to change, you will find your days hard to get through. For some, it’s not easy learning to go with the flow…to ride down the river of life rather than fighting with it. It’s okay to end your day differently than you expected, leaving things still to be done.”

Getting back to what I really have been reflecting on lately , no really , in the middle of the night mostly ☹ (when in the right mind that is !), Resilience (to everything sometimes…even sleep)

“Snowdrops bring me hope because whenever they start to sprout out of the ground, they tell me that the cold dark days of winter will soon come to an end. They’re a sign to say that life will get brighter again.

But that year, as I looked at those tiny white flowers, I realised something else. They have stamina and strength. They struggle to push through the hard, frozen ground, but they weren’t going to be stopped. They pushed and pushed until they saw daylight.

They were resilient.”

A different scenario but thought provoking indeed

In fact we are expecting 17 degrees here in the mountains tomorrow !!!! And, its only the middle of February …wow !

While people vary dramatically in the coping skills they use when confronting a crisis, researchers have identified some key characteristics of resilience.

Many of these skills can be developed and strengthened, which can improve your ability to deal with life’s setbacks.

Sense of Control; Resilient people are aware of situations, their own emotional reactions and the behaviour of those around them. In order to manage feelings, it is essential to understand what is causing them and why.

By remaining aware, resilient people can maintain control of a situation and think of new ways to tackle problems.

Pause for a good espresso here !!!!

Breakfast !

Strong Problem-Solving skills; Resilience is the ability to cope with adversity and to use challenges to forge strength and prosperity. Having resilience does not mean that you don’t struggle, make mistakes, or need to ask for help.

Resilient people keep plugging along even when the situation becomes ugly or exhausting. They learn from their mishaps and misfortunes, and they rely on others with confidence and trust.

Another characteristic of resilience is the understanding that life is full of challenges.

While we cannot avoid many of these problems, we can remain open, flexible, and willing to adapt to change.

Optimists maintain a more accurate view of the control they do have.

Consider Admiral James Stockdale’s trials as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The Stockdale Paradox, a term coined by author Jim Collins, is the recipe for resilience that combines a harsh and objective assessment of reality (“Being a prisoner of war is awful”) with confidence and faith that drive hope (“This will get better and I can make it better”).

Despite being stuck in solitary confinement, Stockdale and his fellow prisoners developed a system of tapping to communicate with one another. Once they could communicate, they could support each other.

Realistic optimism identifies points of control-in this case, the ability to communicate-and take advantage of them.

Resilience is the act of taking a step forward despite dire circumstances. When we look critically for something we can control, we lay out the path for ourselves. 

Of course the flipside is what …accepting …defeat, giving up even ?

How about rather rationalising it to making the better decision ?

What does Stoicism have to say on the matter …?

You must retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties.

AND at the same time…

You must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Battling MS I can immediately relate to this reflection, step #1 is and always has been “Accept what it is”, the second is to find ways to make it more tolerable.. and ’therin lies the rub”

(this rang a bell…had to look it up…!)

The quote itself is a misquotation from Hamlet’s soliloquy about suicide:

“To die, to sleep

To sleep perchance to dream:

Ay, there’s the rub.

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come”

Therein lies the rub – or to quote exactly – “there’s the rub”   means – that’s where the problem/obstacle is.”

Hamlet  is reflecting on the possibility of suicide as a means to an easy end. That perhaps death – which he likens to a “sleep, perchance to dream” may be preferable to life. He comes to realize that nobody knows what death itself has to hold  as nobody has ever come back from the dead to recount their tales, and so that perhaps that is the catch to suicide – therein lies the rub.

(I didn’t know this …although I guess at some stage many, many years ago we would have discussed it at school !!!)

I digress as per usual !

A last word from Seth G…

Borrowed time

All of us are on borrowed time. There are no refunds and there are no guarantees.

At some point, the only time you’ll have to worry about is the time you’ve wasted.

Now we wait…Dennis is coming !!!

 (Storm Dennis that is 😊 )

Ths has been a looooong waffle, Sorry but I’ve enjoyed it ! I will be more succinct in future…promise!

Seriously though, If it all still seems too much …Being Able to Ask for Help is crucial

While being resourceful is an important part of resilience, it is also essential to know when to ask for help. During a crisis, people can benefit from the help of psychologists and counselors specially trained to deal with crisis situations. Other potential sources of assistance include:

  • Books: Reading about people who have experienced and overcome a similar problem can be both motivating and good for ideas on how to cope.
  • Online Message Boards: Online communities can provide continual support and a place to talk about issues with people who have been in a similar situation.
  • Support Groups: Attending support group meetings is a great way to talk about the challenges you’re facing and find a network of people who can provide compassion and support.
  • Psychotherapy: If you are having trouble coping with a crisis situation, consulting a qualified mental health professional can help you confront the problem, identify your strengths, and develop new coping skills.

And as for the Big P…yes apparently the planets were formed differently than what we always believed …who knew !!!

Published by Daniel Taylor

MS Warrior with an affinity for 80's New Wave music and deep philosophical ramblings...and coffee , definitely coffee

2 thoughts on “A little bit of Resilience …

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