Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from the ups and downs of life. How resilient are you?
How resilient you are “today” depends on how you were taking care of your resiliency resources yesterday. Resiliency is the energy that allows you to enrich in life. It is something we all have. We are born with resiliency, but we can lose it.
Your resiliency energy is like a reservoir. So, picture a lake and a dam. All of the water in the lake behind the dam represents your life energy. You use this energy to handle the daily stresses and strains of life. Whenever change or stress comes into your life the floodgates of the dam open, and some energy flows out into the world. This is the energy that helps you cope. If the stress is small then the floodgates open a little and some water or energy flows out. If it is a bigger stress or a series of stresses then the gates open wider and more energy flows away. If it is a major crisis or chronic, continual stress and change then the gates open very, very wide and all of your energy can flow out into the world. The lakebed is now dry and you have no energy left.
What is this loss of energy like? We have two main words to describe it. In the work place it is called “burnout.” This means that you have done the job a little too long and just cannot do it anymore. Outside of the work setting we may call it depression.
In either case you have lost energy or motivation. There is no “get up and go” left. You experience a general lack of interest in both people and tasks. Sadness, irritation, and frustration are present. You become hard to live with both for yourself and for others.
When you give out of resiliency energy, the challenge is to put some back into the reservoir. In fact, you should have been refilling it all the time.
What do you do to fill it up again? The answer is simple. You just do something you enjoy, everyday. Have some fun, everyday. Do this and you will be refilling the reservoir.
This sounds simple and it is, however, it is not easy. Simple and easy not the same.
To confirm this for yourself, take the resiliency test. Get a sheet of paper, pen or pencil, and quickly make a list of 20 things you like to do. Anything at all as long as you like it.
If you are like most people you will start to give out of items by the time you reach number ten. This is a quite a shock because life offers endless possibilities. When you can hardly think of ten, it is rather sad and pathetic. You must add to your list of things you enjoy if you want to be a resilient person.
Once you have a list of 20 things, you must test the list you have. Read each item and put the letter “W” by each one you have actually done in the last week. The more things you have done the better life looks. The more things you have done the more energy you will have. If you are not doing things you enjoy everyday then you are not replenishing your resiliency energy. You are heading towards burnout or depression.
There are some resiliency secrets. Resiliency secret #1 is,” Do something you enjoy everyday.”
Resiliency secret #2 is that the things you enjoy should be in two major categories. One will be those items, which are fun (that is why you like them) and the second category are items that may not be fun. You enjoy them for a different reason. You enjoy them because they give you a sense of accomplishment – things like, maybe, cleaning the toilet. It is not much fun but you feel good when it is done and the toilet is sparkling clean.
Life will challenge your resiliency resources everyday. You must replenish them everyday by taking time to do things you enjoy. Each night when going to sleep, ask yourself two questions. First, “Did I have any fun today?” The answer should also be yes to at least one thing. Second, “Did I get anything done today?” The answer should be yes to at least one thing. If you can answer both questions positively then you have had a good day and are on the road to resiliency. If you can answer with more than one item so much the better.
So, everyday do something you enjoy. In fact, do several things you enjoy. The more you do the more resiliency you create and the more energy you have to invest in life.