One thing that I believe separates the ordinary from the extraordinary is the ability to be resilient. If you’re unaware of what resilience is: think grit, determination and perseverance. We’ve all demonstrated resilience at some points: from learning how to talk and walk; to sitting exams; to getting through lockdown. As you can see, all these examples are forms of fundamental skills. As a child, you must learn how to walk and talk. During school and university, you have to sit exams. Right now, you are persevering through lockdown.
What I’ve found is that people don’t practice resilience when the goals and skills are to do with themselves. For example: not learning how to cook a variety of meals; not pushing yourself in the gym; not pushing yourself for the top grade. In summary, people are stuck in their comfort bubbles.
Now, here comes the disclaimer; the limitation with the idea of resilience. One should not try and push themselves unreasonably. They should not put their self-worth on their skill levels. And most importantly, if it’s causing more negatives than positives: rethink the plan.
1. See the Big Picture
When first starting to plan and think about a goal – there must be an ‘end product’. If you’re cooking: this will be the end meal. If you’re painting a picture: it’ll be the picture. If you’re revising: it’ll be the exam. Being able to start with the end picture in mind will help incredible amounts.
Questions to keep in mind:
What am I trying to achieve?
Is it realistic?
How long will this take?
How many compartments are involved in making this happen?
Being able to understand what you’re going to create, shows your ‘evidence’ in backing yourself up.
2. Have a Plan (and a Back-up)
Being resilient, having grit and being determined really only comes from having a plan.
You have the big picture; you have the end in mind.
Now: work backwards.
Think about these questions:
Are there any timed deadlines involved?
Are there any events that may impact the course of action?
Is there anything else that means you have to block out time?
Again, with working backwards, what’s the last thing that you need to do?
For a painting, it’ll be the additional detail. In an essay, it’ll be the proofreading. In cooking a meal, it’ll be adding the sauces on the side.
The middle bits may be incredibly easy to work out in a chronological order. Sometimes, and more often then not, it is not so easy and is down to personal preference. (Being open minded is key here: but more on that later!)
Usually the first and last steps are the easiest to deduce, it’s the middle steps that are difficult.
Being able to create a back up plan if things go wrong is also key.
This could involve changing the steps from the original plan and putting them in a different order.
This may be altering the deadline date because of commitments that have come up between the day of writing the plan and where you are now.
But being able to acknowledge that anything could happen is important: you never know there may be a worldwide pandemic that may affect you.
A warning/A tip: the longer you’re planning the deadline (let’s say a 5-year plan) the more flexible you will have to be compared to if the deadline is more imminent (next week).
3. Stay Open-Minded
So even though you may have a plan and ten back up plans being ranked A-J, you still must be open minded.
Being rigid does not show a sign of growth.
Resilience is not being hard-lined in your approach.
If you have created back up plans, then be prepared to use them.
If you have spent time thinking of a solid plan but have noted that things will get harder at some point and there may be a loss of motivation: then this is where the resilience steps in.
However, if unexplained and non-planned occurrences impact your plan, then being open minded and adapting to the new environment is a sign of resilience
In other words, you have to use your common sense and be flexible.
4. Ask for Help when Needed
Being resilient does NOT equate to arrogance.
What being resilient means is:
- Being confident
- Not giving up when there are hurdles
- Believing in yourself (or at the very least, the process)
Being able to ask professionals; ones who have knowledge; or supportive people for advice shows strength in character and a want to better yourself.
At the end of the day, that is the goal. We should always want to grow and educate ourselves more. Education is power and all that.
For us to produce high-quality content, pictures or food: we must practice and learn the skills to do so. This seeking of help to improve the quality of something is fundamental to growth and resilience.
5. Be Accountable
What I mean here is:
- If you believe in something: own it
- If you make a decision: stand by it (within reason)
- If you do things: be credible
It’s so important to be accountable whilst being resilient. Being prepared for losses is part of being resilient.
For example, a week ago I wanted to make some rocky road for the first time. I got everything out to make it. Just as I started, due to poor planning, I realised that I didn’t have digestive biscuits. So instead of packing it all away, I decided to create my own digestive biscuits.
Is this incredibly sad? Yes
Did I recognise that because of poor planning I had to spend more time baking? Yes
Have I now got skills to know how to make digestive biscuits? Yes
Even though this is a harmless example, it is a demonstration of resilience and holding myself accountable in finding a solution.