We all have some and (should) seek more. It’s a sliding scale and the resilience of the individual, business, community will rise and fall over time. How do you build resilience?
I’d love to hear your answer but for me it comes from trying to see the risk and consequence in everything I do, and everything around me. I am constantly looking for the boogey man. I feel sometimes feel like a helicopter parent at the playground compared to perhaps more “woke” parents.
Paranoid and restraining or prepared, free, liberating?
The truth is I question my own awareness all the time. I make errors in judgement all the time. I have let my kids take nasty falls; sometimes it has been my fault. I survived a significant ride (my first) in an avalanche less than a year ago. Over the years I have had numerous close calls, that easily could have resulted in death; while driving, mountain biking, and climbing mountains, to name a few. Sometimes I can easily see the mistakes that were made and other times I feel I was doing everything the best I could but the mountains, or the other driver, or a bad bounce of my tire on a loose rock led to a dangerous situation.
“The price of security is insecurity”: I first heard this quote by Dan Harris; it resonated. The cost is anxiety, unless you accept it and turn it into a superpower. The reward is not missing a mortgage payment, not falling unroped into a crevasse, not forgetting to show your appreciation to those you love, not falling down the mountain. The reward is knowing what you will do or where to start if, and when, the ‘worst case’ happens.
Check out Premeditatio malorum: the stoic practice of expecting the worst case scenario.
I can’t recall the source but at some point in my twenties I read something along the lines of: Imagine the worst thing that could happen to you (losing a loved one, suffering a life altering injury, going to war, a deadly virus that will impact the world…) and think about how that would feel? Can you imagine continuing to live your life and to move on in spite of this happening? If the answer is yes, even if it is a questionable yes, then you have just gained resilience and should be able to find light and hope even in the darkest times.
Expect the worst and plan to avoid it. Imagine and visualize the consequences in everything:
- what if I fall here and that bolt fails?
- what will happen if I start an avalanche while skiing this slope?
- what if I fall in love and the love falls apart?
- what if my son rides off the trail here, or there?
- what if I lose my job, how will I cover my house payment, what are my options.
Acknowledging that you will have failure, heartache, pain, and that you will be able to carry on in spite of these things happening is empowering. Knowing that challenges (although we never wish them upon us or anyone) always provide an opportunity for growth (even the darkest ones) is reason to carry on. Imagining the ‘worst case’ will generally allow you to avoid and/or reduce the consequences if you do make an error in judgement, or the boogeyman does come out.
You, I….we got this.
A few final sources to explore that have guided me along the way are:
The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday
Fear Setting by Tim Ferris