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How to Build Resilience to Survive in This Difficult World

How to Build Resilience to Survive in This Difficult World

Facing difficulties is all part of life. It can often feel like we face endless challenges instead of happy endings – when we overcome one challenge, another one rears its ugly head.

Some people I know grew stronger through these challenges, some became weaker and couldn’t see hope anymore.

Two friends of mine were made redundant from their job during the recent financial crisis: while one felt humiliated, lost confidence and therefore had difficulty finding a new job, the other analyzed the situation, spent time identifying his strengths, saw it as an opportunity for growth and found himself a senior manager role in a new company.

It’s not how many challenges we’ve been through that differentiate us, it’s how we see these challenges that matter.

It’s not just optimism. It’s resilience 

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    Photo credit: Source

    While optimism is a positive outlook defined as “the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen”, there is a difference when it comes to resilience.

    Resilience is defined as “the quality of being able to return quickly to a previous good condition after problems.” In other words, it’s about moving on from a difficult situation without just emphasizing the positive parts and blindly believing that something good will happen. Instead it’s about seeing both sides, good and bad, being aware of the potential issues of the situation and taking action accordingly while keeping hope alive at the bases of it all.

    Resilient people never think they really fail

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      The only failure is when someone does nothing, doesn’t try and just wallows in the injustice of a situation. Failing 90 times, to a resilient person, means learning 90 lessons and it’s these so-called failures that contribute to ultimate success.

      Having the mindset that a so-called failure is a setback rather than a time for growth and redirection can be enough for us to give up. We’ve all experienced these and may well have given up on a dream or positive path as a result. But even though these failures can hit us hard, it’s actually just a symptom of big success because most of the huge successes in our life come from 80% failure and 20% intended outcome.

      This is how the 3.8 billion company succeeded

      Slack is a perfect example of resilient success. The $3.8 billion company failed massively before they succeeded. The CEO began spending 3 years building a revolutionary video game raising $17 million and recruiting over 40 staff without knowing if this would be a success. With staff moving across the country to get involved with the project, it was a gamble that initially didn’t pay off: with fierce competition, the company lost money and the team was laid off leaving a few to pick up the pieces.

      But instead of giving up at this massive hurdle and what many people would describe as a failed attempt, the CEO and remaining employees focused on their strengths to develop the chat system used by millions of people around the world and the rest is successful history.

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      Resilient people ride on their internal qualities, not external triggers

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        It’s so easy to get affected by what’s going on around us and lose sight of the big picture. Resilient people know this very well. That’s why they work on their inner qualities which will save them when they get into difficulties.

        The success of Slack was built on the mindset that the external factors weren’t going to get in the way when the choice to keep going with the skills they were already good at would lead them to a better opportunity.

        So how can we make this important shift of focus to gain resilience?

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        Write down what is most important to you at critical moments

        Your why in any given moment or long term goal is important to create resilience and writing this down is what’s called value based affirmation. Many studies [1] have backed up the idea that intervening at crucial moments to write down what is most important to you increases long-term positivity.

        In suburban middle schools, minority students were found to perform worse than other students and were asked to reflect and write what was most important to them at the beginning of the school year and before exams. By doing this exercise, grade repetition amongst these students dropped from 18% to 5%.

        Value based affirmation helps to shift one’s negative mindsets and raises his self-worth. Remembering what is important, especially in challenging times, makes us see the bigger goal instead of the short-term difficulties and this is what makes us survive.

        Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses

        Challenges tend to remind us of our weaknesses and cause us to dwell on them. People who are resilient tend to already be well aware of their weaknesses but they don’t spend time focusing on them or trying to improve them with too many efforts.

        Instead, they look towards their strengths and tune their direction accordingly when things appear to go wrong. Focusing on our strengths is how we acquire growth while focusing on our weaknesses only ultimately serves as a reminder of why we fail because of them. Resilience means knowing the best way to move forward in order to get ourselves back to a place of strength and we can’t do this if we allow our weaknesses to keep us down.

        Resilience isn’t something many of us are born with, it’s a skill that comes out of experiencing dark times and setbacks in life. It’s about developing the skill to see challenges differently and the skill to intentionally shift our focus and mindset to create a position in which we can take advantage of trying times.

        Reference

        [1] Stanford Business: The Value of “Values Affirmation”

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        Leon Ho

        Founder & CEO of Lifehack

        FIRED to HIRED with the Fortune Formula Why Having a Goals Strategy Can Help You Achieve More How to Be More Assertive and Go After Your Goals How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success Having Trouble Reaching Goals? This Could Be Why

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        Last Updated on February 11, 2021

        20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

        20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

        Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

        Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

        Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

          If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

          The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

          Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

          There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

          Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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          Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

          Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

          Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

          • The idea for Google -Larry Page
          • Alternating current generator -Tesla
          • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
          • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
          • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

          …and many, many more.

          Fact #4: Premonition dreams

          There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

          You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

          • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
          • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
          • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
          • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

          Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

          Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

          Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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          Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

          In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

          Fact #7: Sexual dreams

          The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

          Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

            Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

            Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

            • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
            • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
            • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

            Fact #9: Dream drug

            There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

            Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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              The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

              Fact #11: Increased brain activity

              You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

              Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

              As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

              Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

              In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

              Fact #13: Pets dream too

                Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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                Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

                Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

                Fact #15: Blind people dream too

                Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

                Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

                  It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

                  Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

                  Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

                  Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

                  You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

                  Fact #19: Gender differences

                  Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

                  Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

                  As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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