It was Friday afternoon in early 2000 and I had just returned from a late lunch with my private banker who was asking me to clear my outstanding dues. My employees had left for the day and I was alone in the office. Business was dropping steadily for some time, and I had just found out from my financial planner that I had lost my savings in a speculative investment I had made earlier in the year. Everything was falling apart. I was seriously depressed, considering suicide, as I was facing some of the most serious problems of my life. I was thinking that if I ended my life now, then my family could use my life insurance policy of $5 million dollars as a new beginning. Like all of you, I loved my family, and was willing to do whatever it takes for them to be happy.
All I kept asking is why me?
Why does this have to happen to me?
I’m just trying to take care of my wife, my son. I’m not trying to beg, rob or steal. I just want to live and be happy.
Why does that have to be impossible?
Focusing all my attention on negative thoughts, I allowed failure, and mental torture to enter my life.
Finally I had the courage to tell my family of the problems that I was facing, as I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. My wife and my 5 year old son said don’t worry we can simplify our life, removing all the unnecessary expenses, and making new start.
Like most people in difficult times, I started to ask questions like;
Why did I fail? What did I do wrong? Why me?
As I looked for answers for the above questions, my thoughts were full of negative feelings towards others and especially myself.
Our thoughts and feelings are like a powerful magnet, which can attract or prevent success. They don’t get the Universe to manifest what we think of, but our thoughts and mind-set can make us miss opportunities, and focus on the problems rather than the solutions. We need to realign our beliefs and expectations about failure or success.
With their support and new awakening, I started to look at my core beliefs and realised that even though I was saying that I wanted to be rich and happy, I had lost the secret of being happy. This is my journey in discovering resilience.
Resilience is the capability to recover, and bounce back amidst stress, chaos, and ever-changing circumstances.
Resilient people don’t dwell on their disappointment, defeat, and failure but rather recognise the situation, learn from their faults, and move forward. The good news is that anyone can learn and improve their resiliency.
To be an effective leader, one must be an effective self-leader. One must be focused, productive, and energetic, despite the unavoidable chaos and change whisking around them. In addition, as a great leader you need to support your team to do the same for everyone, as well as the organization, to succeed and thrive.
How do you build your resilience?
The good news is that even if you’re not a naturally born as a resilient person, you can learn and develop a resilient attitude and resilient mindset.
Following are some simple things that you can incorporate into your daily life that can help build your resilience.
- Moderate exercise
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Good quality sleep
- Some dedicated “me” time
With this in mind, I have come up with five ways to help you thrive at work, with plenty of rest and recreation.
- Recover your energy
A demanding lifestyle can leave you feeling drained, especially if you don’t balance this with 8-hours of quality sleep. When you take care of your body and mind, you are better able to survive and handle challenges in your life.
- Develop strong relationships
People who have meaningful relationships with a strong support of family, friends, colleagues and other social groups are more resilient to stress, and are happier at work. Treating people with compassion and empathy is a key in building strong and lasting relationships.
- Build your Self-Confidence
Resilient people are confident and believe they will succeed eventually, despite the setbacks or challenges that they might need to encounter. This faith in themselves also empowers them to take risks: when you build confidence and a strong sense of self, you have the strength to keep moving forward, and to take the risks you need to get ahead.
- Set Clear Personal Goals
Having a clear sense of purpose is a powerful personal value that builds resiliency in you. Leading athletes, successful business leaders and over-achievers in all fields set clearly defined goals raising their short-term and long-term vision motivation.
This clear focus supports your attainment of knowledge, and helps you to systematise your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.
- Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are both great ways in developing resilience.
As suggested by Jon Kabat-Zinn founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally,” By you focusing on what is happening right now, your body is stepping marginally apart from your thoughts thus allowing you to see them just as thoughts, allowing you with a clearer connection with what is happening in your own mind.
Mindfulness and resilience are inextricably linked. By learning how to use mindfulness effectively, we can develop superior handling mechanisms that can lead us to happier and more fulfilling lives.
An important characteristic of developing resilience is learning to ask for help when you need it. Don’t be humiliated or frightened to admit that you need help from friends, family or from colleagues – asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. It is also vital to look at what you have accomplished in your life, rather than focus on the negative things – think about what you have the power to transform in your current conditions and prioritise these things.
For more information and as well as tools and tips to help you and your organisation become more resilient., please contact Dr. Devnani and Associates.