What Is Resilience?
Resilience presupposes failure. To be resilient requires a person to hold a mindset that they have failed somehow – that they have been hindered by a past adversity. So, to have resilience means that you need to bounce back from adversity – that set you back. This is a static rather than process mindset. That is it (adversity) is a real thing. It isn’t. Instead adversity doesn’t exist. It is a frame of mind and therefore a process, which is part of reality unfolding.
There are no good or bad events, except in hindsight. Good and bad are meta-judgements that presuppose expectations (which in and of themselves are constructs). It is only when we compare how it should have been with how it was, that we experience adversity.
The Reality of Adversity
When people look at the events in their lives in a static way, they often see negatively judged occurrences as adversity, that they need to bounce back from. What they fail to consider is how do you know in the process of movement through your life that a certain event wasn’t the one thing that will give you the learning, that enables you to accelerate your growth and development.
That is to say that something you may be looking at as an adversity, may be the same thing that gives you the ability to see yourself in a new light, reframing adversity as a springboard for your moving forward as a human being.
Thomas Edison was famed for saying about his inability at the time to create a functioning light globe “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won‘t work”. This is a process, rather than static view, the view of a high-achiever.
When a person frames a context as adverse, they see a need to bounce back from it (resilience). When a person frames a context as part of a greater unfolding process, there’s no need to bounce back, no need to be resilient.
Pilots know this. While they may start off in one direction, they may end up changing direction, whilst keeping the outcome in mind. They may even be turned back, they know the point is to land safely, and if needs be re-assess.
Athletes, CEOs, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and other high performers have the ability to stop seeing reality as good versus bad, adverse versus successful, or failure versus achievement. The elite of the elite stop seeing the events in their lives through a black and white lens – splitting reality. There is no good or bad – it is all context dependent.
Perhaps in a certain context, something has not worked particularly well. The challenge though, is to look at life as being a process of different contexts that build upon each other. This means that one event on its own could be viewed as adversity, but how do you know that what you call adversity later on won’t be viewed as such – that it is your greatest learning and therefore your teacher? You don’t! So why not see that now, while you are in the process?
When you look at life this way, there is nothing you need to bounce back from. If you can shift your mindset from a static mindset to a process based mindset, you can see that you have no idea where any event or happening will lead you. You can learn to accept the reality, as it is, go with it, and stop resisting it. Then there is nothing to bounce back from, because you are not framing it as adverse. Now you no longer need to be resilient. You’ve just freed yourself from the vacillating effect that resilience brings.
Detaching from Adversity and Resilience
This ability to detach from the need for resilience is what makes elite-performers so special. They do not look for adversity in their lives. They see their lives as they are, without judgment. They accept reality as it is, and move forward.
High-performers do not believe in luck. Luck is an early stage development viewpoint, and its viewpoint is that the context it sees and experiences is all of reality through time.
Later stage developed people, can see that luck only exists in the context of what is happening right now. Once you take the context out there isn’t any luck, because you don’t know what the luck leads to and what will come next!
Practice Without Judgment
Elite-performers excel because they free themselves from the static viewpoint structure, and allow themselves to be wholly in flow. They practice without judgment which prevents their mind from getting in the way, and holding themselves back. They are simply able to be with what is occurring (moment by moment) and allowing the practice to run through them. They are so present, that their performance becomes almost as if they are pulling magic from the fabric of the moment itself.