The single most important trait for achieving big goals is the capacity to return, again and again, to the task.
Life and business are full of unexpected challenges and hardships. To succeed we must embrace our inner warrior. We must find our resilience. Resilience is our ability to pull something from deep within to continue moving forward. That thing within us, is hope. Hope is the magical emotion which reminds of our dream, of why we are doing what we are doing, and the reasons we started. Hope funds resilience. It is that elusive pot of gold at the end of our story that makes the suffering we experience to get there, worth it.
1. Sense of community.
Being resilient doesn’t only come from suffering alone and without support. That is one way to be resilient, and we all experience this individual passage in life, but we are more resilient when we have supportive relationships to fall back on. Resilience requires community, even if it’s a community of two. Best case scenario is to have a community that is diverse in experience, age, outlook, talents, skills and viewpoints. These differences help us to be more resilient. Having a sense of community teaches us to look outward and to see a greatness that exists beyond our own individual desires. We are able to see that we can produce a change that is so significant for the whole that it makes the individual adversity at hand worth working through.
2. Nothing is insurmountable.
We cannot allow others to say ‘No’ to us. We must hold the deep belief that nothing is insurmountable. There is always more than one way up the same mountain. Resilience is not just about struggling and surviving, as much as it is about being resourceful enough to thrive. We must be leaders in our own right, and turn each “No” into a “Next.” Make the choice to dig deep and do the insurmountable. Once we see that we can do what we thought we couldn’t, we are more prepared for the new challenges we are sure to face. Resilience requires a certain stubbornness to do what we set out to do, regardless of adversity.
3. Change is a constant.
Change and challenge are fundamental to the development of who we are. How we handle change is the marker of our ability to adapt. To be resilient we must flex in response to the changes which come our way and re-set our sails. As we face challenge, we each have the right and responsibility to examine the roads ahead of us, and those we’ve already traveled. As we take inventory of where we are now, we also have the right to step off any and all negative roads, without feeling any shame or embarrassment to take another direction. To be resilient, we must be wise to understand that when we cannot change our circumstances, we must change ourselves.
4. Hold tight to your dream.
Entrepreneurs are often told to find their "why'' but few realize the origins of that advice is Viktor Frankl's Man’s Search for Meaning, his remarkable memoir of surviving the Auschwitz death camp. Frankl realized in Auschwitz that what separated survivors from those who died was a combination of luck and a reason to live. Frankl wrote, “When a man knows the ‘why’ of his existence he will be able to bear almost any ‘how.’ "
The responsibility we bear in life is always towards others because love, more than success or riches, gives us the deepest and most meaningful reason to keep going. Our ‘why’ is where hope lives; it is what motivates us to hold tight to our dreams. Happiness, resilience and motivation are greatly increased when we have something to look forward to, so it is imperative to stay focused on our bigger picture when facing hardship. In this way, happiness and success are not the goal of our journey, but rather the side effect of it.
5. Nurture your mind.
All great successes, read. When we’re in the middle of our more trying times, it is essential we find stories of those who have survived similar trespasses to ours. Through their stories we find hope, new perspectives, and new ways to go through our own trials. We must make use of great poetry, meaningful stories, music and movies. All of these resources inspire us back to our purpose. Reading nurtures our mind and develops our wisdom. Through reading, we grow in our education and fortitude to stretch in the ways our journey requires. When we nurture our minds, we nurture our spirits. Reading helps build our resilience because it fills our minds with information that inspires movement.
6. Keep moving.
To keep moving we must gather our bones. We need a backbone, a wishbone and a funny bone. Resilience isn’t limited to only surviving the depths and terrors of the grind. It is also about keeping a hopeful heart, believing in the magic of this Universe, and never losing our sense of humor. If we take ourselves too seriously, we burn out. We must strive to be light-hearted as much as possible. Pressure kills longing. Movement is inspired through longing, through joy, and through the ability to stay strong in our convictions. To keep moving we must have the spine, the will and the deep commitment to keep taking that next step towards our goal.
It is normal to get down on ourselves when we’re being challenged. We may lose faith in ourselves, or go through periods where we feel like we’re doing everything wrong. The struggles we face in life and business are essential to our success. It is out of our suffering that we gain our depth, resilience and wisdom. We come to find the true meaning behind who we are, and what we are made of. Challenge leads us to the gateway of our personal and professional transcendence. Through our self-discovery, we find clarity. We are able to uncover, acknowledge and properly own our blind spots. We learn to remove barriers to ourselves by challenging old beliefs and analyzing and all false assumptions we may hold. We come see that we don’t need to change ourselves, we need to focus on enhancing ourselves.
8. Love yourself.
When we love ourselves, we laugh more, we smile, and we’re more resilient. We must be authentic and not hide who we are from others. Authenticity is what creates and deepens bonds. This invites people towards us, and this is what liberates us. When we love ourselves, we have that undeniable resilience that naturally lifts the spirits of others. It is important to love and acknowledge others, to give them hope and to breathe goodness into them. When we feel valued, we are much more likely to stand up for ourselves. It takes a rebelliousness to speak up. We must speak for our integrity, and that of others against negativity. Resilience helps us develop a voice that competes with the judgements of other people.
Resilience give us the durability to make it through our more challenging times. It’s important to have community support and an individual tough-mindedness to never give up on our aspirations. We must consistently remind ourselves that we are the miraculous; the true wonders of the world. Things aren’t always going to go our way, so we must look within, hold tight to our visions, and adapt to the changes in front of us. We must never underestimate who we are and what we can do for others. To be resilient we must appreciate all people. Most importantly we must never take ‘No’ for answer. If we do this, we allow another to determine to our destiny. We must determine our worth; our own destiny.
A version of this article appeared on entrepreneur.com, posted on March 2, 2017
EXPERD, Human Resources Consultant, Jakarta – Indonesia