“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo- far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance”- Jodi Picoult

We all face some unexpected situations in our life. Some are heartening and uplifting while some are devastating but we all would like to live a life where we do not fail at anything or go through any distressing moments. We feel that an ideal life is one where everything we turn our hand to was successful.However, a life that contains only success doesn’t exist in reality so we should really learn how to cope up with life’s surprises.

Resilience helps us bounce back from adversity and misfortune that life throws at us. It can be thought of as emotional fitness. If we are resilient we would be able to cope better with life’s ups and downs. People who are highly resilient are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly and thrive in an environment where change is constant. Building resilience is something that we all should aim to be better at as the benefits for us will be profound and long-lasting.

Time and time again, we will discover in life that it’s not what happens to us that matters, but how we react to it matters the most. In life we will come across a lot of obstacles, it doesn’t matter what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them and how well we keep our composure makes all the difference. Sure, obstacles are scary, uncomfortable and stressful that sometimes makes you stop from going on. However, if we learn to embrace the impediment that’s before us, accept it, prepare to challenge it and take action despite the present set back, we can find the way that we didn’t know that existed.

The first step in building resilience is taking responsibility for who we are and for our life as well. Responsibility here means accept the consequences of your actions, be it good or bad. We should be willing to take responsibility for our progress and outcome. Navy SEAL, David Goggins says that “when you look in the mirror, that’s the one person, you can’t lie to.” We have a tendency to run away from the truth. When things are not working, it’s easy to blame this or that and quit but in order to emerge stronger, we need to accept our faults.

When life gets tough, we need to count on our strengths. At times of suffering we forget who we really are, we forget that we are capable of doing great things. In a race in the Mont Blanc, Navy SEAL David Goggins body
shut down after he ran 70 miles and he still had 30 miles to run. During this point, he was in a horrible state, feet broken, ankles taped, shin splints, stress fractures and feet covered with blood. But he kept on going by remembering his strengths. He told himself “You went three hell weeks and finished two. One of the hells weeks, a guy died, it was so bad.”

He says that whenever we feel down, we need to go down in the cookie jar and remember who we are. The cookie jar he visualizes contains no sweets. In his cookie jar there are failures and victories of his life. During critical moments, he calms down, takes a deep breath, finds his lucidity and opens this jar where he finds all difficulties he has faced and overcome in the past, all his victories and successes and all the failures from which he has risen. This helps him gain perspective and reminds him of what he is capable of. We all should visualize a cookie jar like this, to realize that we aren’t the weak person that our mind has been telling us, we are the person who has survived tough times in the past! We are our achievements!

Furthermore, we need to develop the mindset that we live to learn. Every obstacle we face and every single thing that breaks us helps us advance in our life. What stands in our way becomes the way. Our aim in life should not be to avoid struggles and changes but to confront them and learn from them.Don’t ever expect a time in our life when we will be free from change, free from struggle, free from worry so we should push ourselves to grow, get better, to dive deeper and to become our best self.

Elbert Hubbard once said “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”Learn to persist in the face of struggle for the cultivation of your best self!