I’ve only talked about the idea of resiliency once (i think!) on the blog, and it was in discussing the Survivor Tree. Today I’m talking about resilience in terms of working on developing it for ourselves.

When we’re talking about resilience, we’re talking about the ability to bounce back or rebound after a stress or problem in life. Think of stretching a rubber band and letting it snap back into shape. That’s what resilient people do: in the face of trouble they might be stretched and knocked around, but they’ll stretch back to their original shape. Resilience is an ongoing process, and the goal is to become increasingly resilient throughout our life time.

There are many things we can do to develop higher levels of resilience within ourselves, and while it is some work in the moment, it will serve you well in the future. One of these things we can do is identifying role models for ourselves who embody the ideas of resilience in some way. This can be a person who is alive or dead, whom you personally know or someone you just admire. If they are alive, sit down and talk to them about their life. Get to know their thoughts patterns and behaviors that lead to them living a resilient life style. If you don’t personally know them, then research their life! Read books or articles and figure out how to emulate their actions and try to apply it to your own life. We’re all different people so things will look different in each of our lives, but examples of those who are resilient can be a great asset to our own development.

Here are a few examples of famous individuals:

  • Corrie Ten Boom (hid Jews during WWII, sent to a concentration camp, survived, and did great work in the areas of forgiveness  and rehabilitation)
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Michael Jordan
  • From the Bible: Moses, Peter, Paul
  • Helen Keller
  • Thomas Edison (“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”.)
  • Martin Luther King
  • Winston Churchill

Of course this just scratches the surface, but hopefully the list serves to get you thinking. Think of your neighbors, friends, family members, or co-workers as well, and start to identify what sort of characteristics of resiliency they encompass.

Now it’s your turn to share! Who do you know that might be considered a resilient person? How can you learn lessons from their lives to apply to your own?