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Notes #54

With all the restrictions on our lives due to COVID, I thought some talk about resilience might be appropriate.

Resilience has become the common buzzword in dealing with people in organizations. It seems companies and organizations want people who are resilient, flexible and welcoming of change.
To be resilient encompasses a great many things; basic self-care (eating, sleeping, exercise), our ability to deal effectively with stressful situations, to maintain a positive attitude, to be able to adapt to a changing world and yet be able to keep things stable when things heat up, and knowing how to "live" (sense of humour, fun, fulfilling activities), not merely survive.
To have resilience, one needs to be committed to a consistent lifestyle made up of positive routines. The payoff is both now (quality of life) and later, as a healthier person as we approach old-age.

Resiliency is an important factor in living. The wings of life may bend us, but if we have resilience of the Spirit, they cannot break us.
To courageously straighten again after our hands have been bowed by defeat, disappointment, and suffering is the supreme test of character.
                                                                                                             Edna McCann



There seems to be a lot in the print media these days about Emotional Resiliency. That is the ability to adapt easily, to be flexible in stressful situations or crisis. It seems that resilient people adapt to stress and life's changes with less difficulty than those with a more rigid approach to life. Resilient people go through life without being too bothered by life's little stressors or by catastrophic events that invite many to be overwhelmed. Resiliency is something you are born with but it can also be something you can develop. Elizabeth Scott --------See "Characteristics of Resilient People"
After various modern psychology studies, the conclusion was drawn that these are the characteristics of resilient people:
1. They are able to detect the cause of their problems
Resilient people carry out the strategies needed to prevent the problematic situation from happening again. This also implies self-analysis, which is sometimes triggered by a conflict that does not come from the outside, but from within.
2. They know how to handle their emotions
Resilient people are able to manage their thoughts, since any emotion comes from here. We think, then we feel. Resilient people control their thoughts so they are not swayed by those with a negative charge.
3. They keep calm in stressful situations
We all go through difficult times throughout our lives and it is important to know how to stay calm when they occur. Resilient people are able to stay focused and calm in situations of chaos and momentary confusion.
4. They are realistic
There has been a lot of (and negative) talk about optimism which generated the global idea that being positive means to deny certain aspects of reality that are inevitable and present in the lives of many people.
Being realistic but always hoping for the best is the best way to describe the optimistic characteristic of resilient people.
5. They trust themselves
Resilient people have confidence in their worth and competence to overcome adversity. What we say is what ends up forming our reality, so if we think we are not able to overcome an obstacle, of course we won't be able to.

6. They are empathetic
People with greater capacity to address problems in the right way read the emotions of others, understand what is happening around them and act accordingly.
7. They are able to motivate themselves
Not all people are equal. Some challenges motivate us and others are opportunities for change.
Resilient people know how to seek new ways of satisfaction from life. They are always highly motivated and are able to detect and attract positive things into their lives.
8. They don't ask why, they ask how
One of the key characteristics of people who tend to easily collapse when facing a problem is that they are driven by thoughts of blame. They constantly question why the negative situation that distresses them has happened to them.
They focus on the why, unlike resilient people, who use their energy to understand how they can manage or get out of the conflicting situation.
If after reading these characteristics of resilient people you still don't think that you are one of them, it is important that you realize that resilience is present in all people.
The difference between those that are more resilient and those who are less may be in key aspects of how the person is, their personality rather than how they put it into action.
If you start looking at things from another perspective, your problems will begin to appear less like a drama and more like challenges, which, depending on the circumstances, you may even start to enjoy.

What's the key? Your will to change.

In The Resilient Self, authors Steven and Sybil Wolin list six key characteristics that compose resilience:
1. Resilience requires insight.
You need to develop the ability to ask yourself tough questions and answer honestly. If you had something to do with your loss, be honest and responsible for it.
2. Resilience is independent.
As a resilient person, you can count on yourself to bounce back into life.
3. Although resilience is independent, it's also tied to others.
The more people you are responsible for, the greater your motivation to begin again-the stronger the reason, the stronger the action.
4. Resilience calls for initiative.
You need to develop the ability to take charge of the situation, to take charge of the problem. You need to stand up and do whatever is necessary to get back on course.
5.  Resilience has an element of creativity.
With resilience, you are able to look at a situation and creatively determine the best way out. You are enterprising in your approach toward starting over.
6.  A resilient person has humour.
You may cry until you start laughing, but a sense of humor is so important when turning your life around. You've got to take your goals seriously, and you've got to take yourself seriously. But at times, you've also got to be able to laugh at yourself and your situation.
The more obstacles you face and overcome, the more times you falter and get back on track, the more difficulties you struggle with and conquer, the more resiliency you will naturally develop. If you are resilient, there is nothing that can hold you back.


The Swiss writer Herman Hesse once wrote, "Soft is stronger than hard; water is stronger than rock, love is stronger than violence." Why would he think that something soft turns out to be stronger or tougher than something that appears to be hard or rigid? If we were to carefully analyze this quote, we could conclude that he was referring to "resilience".


Resilience is the capacity we all have to adapt and cope with unfavourable situations. It is a concept well known in psychology but less often explored by human beings in general. Resilience is a tool that all living beings have at their disposal but in different ways. It is a key with which we can cope and survive the bad times. It's that wonderful adaptation that allows our "emotional rope" to be stretched thin, but never split. However, it seems that there are people that find it to be less difficult to resist or face bad times. Or perhaps the effort is the same, but the attitude they have is different.
Resilience is part of a complex mechanism that is influenced by many other factors such as the attitude we have towards a problem. Perhaps because of this, some people seem to deal with unpleasant situations differently or with more ease.


Reader Response
In response to last week's article on men and woman and are they different, here is what a reader shared:

This needs no explanation - and is a fun read, no matter your gender. Men Are Just Happier People!  What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves.  Chocolate is just another snack.  You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Wrinkles add character.  Wedding dress - $5,000. Tux rental - $100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks.  A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Two pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original colour. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck. You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes - one colour for all seasons.  You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.   You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache... You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.  No wonder men are happier!
  If Laura, Kate, and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.      If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba, and Wild man.
EATING OUT ?     When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50.  None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.  When the girls get their bill, outcome the pocket calculators.

MONEY?     A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs ?        A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.
    A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel ?    The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.
 ARGUMENTS ?      A woman has the last word in any argument. ?    Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
FUTURE ?     A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband ?    A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

MARRIAGE ?        A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.    A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.
   A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail. ?   A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.
NATURAL ?      Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed ?   Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
    Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favourite foods, secret fears, and hopes and dreams. ?   A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.  A married man should forget his mistakes.  There's no use in two people remembering the same thing! So, this email will no doubt be appreciated by women who have a sense of humour .... and men who will just enjoy reading it.


Only one more "Notes" edition before we take a summer break.

Last chance for you to say how much you enjoy the "Notes" offerings, or to criti...naw--keep it to yourself, we have enough negativity with COVID.

Please observe the Thumper Rule "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin at all."