Nobody has a soul unscathed. As famously Nietzsche has stated:
“What does not kill you makes you stronger.”
Actually, truth be told, it is not easy to be resilient in chaos or adversity; however, research has shown that it can be learned. Stretching our mental muscles and drawing on key questions raised by the great thinkers gives us a leg up to control our thoughts and surpass oneself through the spine-chilling maze of setbacks.
Mindfulness, martial arts, and behaviour change are recommended however lasting success depends on self-reflection. Growth is fueled by practical wisdom and reasoned decision-making. So how to start the introspection to develop resilience?
Training the brain with philosophical counseling session to think clearly at infliction points in our ventures or life is absolutely necessary. The same way we curb the impulse to run for the door in an emergency situation on board of a plane and responsibly follow the instruction to put the oxygen mask first and buckle up, the process of observing our mind and learning from different schools of thoughts will empower us to take charge and develop resilience. The guidance will shape our perceptions and expectations into awareness, and our behaviours will become more productive rather than reactionary. Ultimately, the self-examination and preparation lead to a disciplined mind which helps us to leap over the fatigue caused by the unprecedented events, discord or even malicious situations.
Change Your Perception
“Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.”
The statement was written by Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the adherent of stoic philosophy highlights how perception plays an important role in your responses. A terrifying event has the potential to be agonizing or not, for it all depends on your perception. Therefore, you have a choice to experience the unfavourable circumstances in dismay or learn the skills to build resilience.
As humans, we can exaggerate stressors, fret and run things over and over in our heads to the point that is uncontrollable. However if you can adopt a positive outlook and reframe disastrous to challenging, you will be able to deal with calamities, learn, grow and move on. A positive change in you perception is not to ignore and distort the reality but to ensure that you have control over your state of mind and emotional response.
Outline Your Expectations
Preparing your mind to question the underlying intentions of your expectations produce a valuable outcome in adversity. Since, the correlation between a challenge, an expectation, the course of action and the end result depend on your disposition. This means that unsettled and implicit intentions, an obscure plan of action or a goal will generate unrealistic expectations leading to resentment. However, the integration of philosophical notions to clarify your intentions influences your response and helps you confront the negative. Meditating on great philosophical ideas to become resilient and recover from adversity breeds self-control. This state of mind nurtures a rational, optimistic outlook to strategically analyze and gain attribution of productive motives from a third-party perspective.
The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, and the more you will be able to create the experiences of your life consciously. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of authentic power.- Gary Zukav
Manage Your Behaviour
“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
It is just sometimes, the end results are unfair, unreasonably or wrongfully against you; however, the philosophical reflection will help you develop mental toughness. Ethically responding in the heat of battle sounds virtuous, yet, might not be practical as it is easier said than done! Although you have a choice to change your attitude or consciously assimilate a behaviour and internalize to deal with the problem. Effectively stated by Epictetus on Walking the Walk:
Don’t declare yourself a philosopher or talk about all your principles; walk the walk instead.
At dinner, don’t discourse on the proper way to eat. Just eat.
Here’s how Socrates did it: When someone asked Socrates to introduce him to a particular famous philosopher, he did it without thinking “I’m better.”
When the ignorant discuss deep matters, bite your tongue. Don’t vomit what
you haven’t chewed.
When you are told you’re ignorant and you manage to be unruffled, you know your practice is working.