Resilience & Optimism – Critical Ingredients

In our increasingly complex world and pressured roles, resilience & optimism become critical ingredients to our sustainable “success”.  Seligman’s research highlights our need to:

  • be purposeful in using our signature strengths;
  • be grateful for our blessings (despite our struggles!);
  • realise that most circumstances (& emotions) are temporary; and therefore
  • remain hopeful

For me, it’s not confusing an ‘inconvenience’ with a ‘problem’ that’s worth worrying about.

R e-frame by challenging your thinking using objective evidence and searching for the silver lining
E ngage your life wholly by balancing your work, home, health, personal time, community and social elements
S tory versus self – when you’re having persistent negative thoughts sing it to a song like The Brady Bunch theme. “It’s a story of this moron that I had to serve this morning in my job…”
I nconvenience versus a problem – try to challenge your perspective when you’re making a mountain out of a molehill.
L earning about self – when you are struggling, ask yourself what values are being compromised and what you need to do differently.
I nvolve others in your support network – debrief with trusted friends and advisors to get clarity.
E njoy and focus on all of the good things in your life. “When gratitude is your default setting, your life changes”. Gratitude has a powerful effect on your state of being and puts frustrations into perspective.
N ow – be in the moment, be mindful of your state and thinking, enjoy what you’re doing right now.
C hallenge, Commitment and Control (S.Kobasa) View things as a challenge rather than a burden, draw on compelling reasons to act in a committed way, focus on what you can control instead of what concerns you.
E nlarge your circle of influence by accepting your emotions for what they are and turning off the “struggle switch” (R.Harris) We make things worse by worrying about our worries.

O pportunities –create opportunities to do the things that fulfil and strengthen you.
P ermanence, Pervasiveness and Personalisation (M.Seligman) Realise that most emotions and circumstances are temporary and will pass in time, Compartmentalise aspects of your life so that you don’t carry your worries and anxieties into every role that you play, Take an appropriate amount of responsibilities for failures but learn from them rather than feeling guilty.
T reat every experience as an opportunity to grow as a person. Learn from it and be grateful.
I ngredients – Keep planning for the memorable moments and keep your future hopes and dreams alive. Whether it’s your next break or the next family meal where everybody can sit down and connect.
M arinating – It’s okay to struggle with emotions and to dip your toe into negativity, but make sure you don’t marinate in it!
I nvest in purposeful activities – A pleasant day doesn’t mean a fulfilling life! We need challenge and purpose so that we enjoy the pleasant moments that much more.
S ignature strengths focus – using your signature strengths in a purposeful way develops your optimism and fulfilment.
M oderation – everything is good in moderation. What are your over developed and underdeveloped habits?

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