The Art of Bouncing Back
What enables us to persist in the face of uncertainty and challenges, no matter what happens?
I am in awe at the strength I see in so many people around me. No matter what they experience in life, they come out hopeful. In them I see resilience, optimism, the capacity to bounce back without feeling discouraged, or without giving up. I am learning that resilience, the ability to recover readily from adversity, is even more important at a day and age in which we, perhaps, are influenced by some mental and cultural conditioning that don’t serve us, and we experience such complexity and ever-changing circumstances in our lives.
What am I Learning about Resilience?
I am learning that resilience can be developed. I am also realizing that that capacity comes from deep within us.
I tend to forget that: when I am faced with a dilemma, I rush into action, trying to fix things. When responding to a problem I focus on my behaviour and actions: on what I should do or not to. But then I face unintended consequences, and things don’t go as planned. I realize that I need to stop, take a deep breath, and reconnect with why I wish to persevere. I then ask myself: what is my intention here? What is my commitment? Reconnecting myself to what had excited me from the onset gives me strength.
Indeed, as per a model developed by the TSLP* team, we can explore how our actions in the world become even more powerful and effective when they are driven by our inner, unshakeable core — an inner attitude drive and commitment. Indeed, being clear about our purpose, commitment in life, and willpower, connecting to it, understanding it and nurturing it, can create a solid foundation for responding to challenges. Such a strong foundation helps develop new habits and action for resilience.
Developing in a Wholesome Manner
If we are to grow in our capacity to withstand pressure, to be resilient, we are required to develop/change in three ways: in our inner will, habits and actions. Indeed, when this happens, we have more grounded strength to withhold many shocks and challenges. This way, just like a tree, we have stronger roots to stand on – we are aware of our worth, and what we can contribute.
And standing from a strong foundation, we can be more effective, aligned with our purpose, and inspiring others to live from their purpose too in their family lives and communities. How enriching that can be!
Indeed, as Indian philosopher once wrote:
‘A self-development from within…is the greatest intimate power of being.
Those who live most powerfully in themselves, can also most largely use the world and all its material for the Self, and, most successfully help the world and enrich it out of their own being.’
-Sri Aurobindo – “Human Cycle – Psychology of Social Development”
In this quote here, Sri Aurobindo points to how, by of growing from within, by sourcing from our values, vision and commitment, we can powerfully enact that in the world.
Taking Time for Self Development
If we are ready to work on ourselves, to have more clarity on what we envision in life, and be resilient, the invitation to you and me is to take time out to do so: to spend time in silence, distant from distractions, influences and outside expectations, exploring our all that there is to be explored and understood: our strengths, dreams and aspirations. Taking time to write down our thoughts, to journal also helps. Connecting with others who are on the same quest is a worthwhile practice too.
I am presently working on a programme that is so important to me. And I am required to stay resilient as we face the ups and downs in the process, the challenges, low energy, triumphs and tribulations. Staying connected to my dreams and what excites me about this work is helping me. Only then can I continue developing habits that can help when I move into action.
And for you: where is it in your life that you feel you need to develop resilience? How clear is your purpose and commitment? What is your inner drive? We’d love to hear from you!