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Earlier this year, like most of us in 2020, I found myself in the midst of doubts about a job loss. Like most, I tumbled upon the Linkedin Learning on Resilience. Though I can’t seem to recall much of what was covered in the learning capsule, I started researching on the word origin.
So, the word resilience comes from 2 words in Latin – ‘Re salire’
‘Re’ – in latin means ‘Returning’ and ‘Salire’ – in latin means ‘leap back or jump back’
As I researched on the the word and read more on this particular human characteristic, it reminded me how much this word defines our present times.
While our previous generations primarily (70’s to the early 90’s) came largely from lower middle class families with parents in government jobs, teachers, engineers who worked for a number of years with one employer, they experienced what I call, a life of dreaming of ‘a better tomorrow’. Depending on the part of the India, that one grew up in, there was a constant reminder of shortage, minimalism, conservation and the idea that ‘life is tough’.
Our parents still take much pleasure in watching movies of that era as a reminder of how little did they value ‘things; and treasured ‘time and people’ around them. In the absence of technology and connectivity, languishing lives were often a part of how things ended.
But the world we live in is different.
Time and change are words we use synchronously. And it isn’t even too far apart. Decisions change within less that 4 – 6 hours. Research shows that in a day a person makes 35,000 choices – the most trivial to life-altering.
And many of them have lasting impact.
Resilience is ‘bouncing back’, when that impact hits home. As a working mother, parenting teaches so much on resilience. The moments I have failed as a parent to show my child the person she ought to be, becomes a moment to spring back up – Recognise, Apologise and have the ‘Let’s try that, again’ attitude.
As a female colleague at the workplace (with a gap of 3 – 6yr) non-corporate work experience, you are tested – skills, acceptance and constant decision changes for the sake of the well being of the business, is the place one can feel ‘disabled’ – Resilience here, for me, is acknowledging change, opening my mind and heart to know that there will be an impact and sometimes, as tough as that maybe, being the goalee, at that goal post, when the hardest kick is what you have been served.
As a woman hitting her forties, resilience shows up in the form of acknowledging that we live in a broken world, a world with broken promises, while still yearning to fulfil them to the best extent possible.
Resilience is bouncing back – HBR’s article by Diane Coutu on How Resilience works is a great read. As the article points us to the fact that many people survived intense pain and agony, by being realistic of a time when that pain would end. And dreaming of how they could use that pain to contribute to others who do not have the language or the empowerment to speak even to themselves about ‘pain’, which is a life of constant self-denial, lack of appreciation and choice.
My addition to that article would be that one truly needs a heart of resilience, not just actions that carry that out. A heart of resilience is where resolves are made. A resolve to experience every element of pain. While for me this understanding comes from reading and understanding my faith (and not positive psychology or humanism), I offer here what most researchers have found out over the last couple of years.
Let me also bring in some clarity between some of the common terms we may interchangeably use:
Resilience is ‘Bouncing Back’ – Resilience is bouncing back to face the curve balls that life throws at you. With the attitude of ‘Bring it on, Baby! I will catch you’
Dear reader – Like me, I know that life has posed some tough moments to you. Reflect on the moment. Reach out to understand what is your act of Resilience and your thoughts around it. Structure those thoughts around some of these : Be true to yourself as you answer them.
Let me share an example.
If you have been a spendthrift this last year and have raked up debt on credit cards and loans, and are running away, in the understanding that you will be able to pay them off in a jiffy, I am inviting you to a deeper conversation with yourself.
I’m sure your question may be that this seems more like ‘Goal Setting’ than ‘Resilience’ – However, may I point out that ‘Goal Setting’ often arises from a deep acceptance of where one stands in life , in a certain domain and what new points or places does one aim to go to.
As a conclusion, I invite you to a space where you can be resilient,
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