The Art of Meaningful Living – 20: Be resilient

When we live a meaningful live, we pursue our passions, set goals and achieve them. Inevitably, there will be setbacks and you need to be resilient( ability to recover quickly from a setback). You need to effectively deal with them when they occur.

How to be resilient?

1. There is a lot of programming in your mind which is there. It is not possible to get rid of it. They will appear during periods of stress. These include negative self-talk, toxic core beliefs and outdated coping strategies. Listen for them but not to them. Do not overrespond to them. Accept them as information and do not act on them,

2. There will also be resistance when you change. We all live in social systems and when we change personally, we affect our social systems. Other people can be pushed out of their comfort zones. Resistance follows. This may cause tension and stress. To counteract this, use validation strategies. These are:

  • Listen to others’ description of their experiences without judgment.
  • Mirror what your hear other people telling you through their verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Recognize the emotional states of others and give voice to them
  • Connect with other people’s emotional responses by voiving what most other people would feel in the same situation.
  • Relate your own similar emotional experiences to their current experiences.

Seek to understand the experiences of others in your social systems while holding firm to the changes that are important for your meaningful life. Sometimes you will cause pain to others in the process of change and that may be inevitable.

On the path to a meaningful life, there will be mistakes. When you make a mistake on the way to your meaningful life, don’t make it worse by compounding the problem. Make an adjustment and keep going on.

3. Learn from every goal. Each goal has an explicit and implicit purpose. The explicit purpose is to achieve the outcome listed in the goal statement. The implicit purpose of any goal is to learn. Even if you fail the explicit purpose, learn from it. If you learn from it, you have succeeded. An unmet goal may teach you that you set an unrealistic goal initially. Hold goals lightly with the implicit goal of learning is important. Analyze the results of unmet goals by asking:

  • What internal obstacles prevented you from reaching your goal?
  • What external obstacles prevented you from reaching your goal?
  • Can you eliminate these obstacles or their impact?
  • Was the timeframe of the goal unrealistic?
  • Was the explicit goal outcome completely within your control?
  • Is it possible that the explicit goal outcome is not a priority for you?

4. We are all going to make mistakes. Learn from them. Try a new strategy. Make new mistakes. The key thing is to not repeat the same mistakes.

Being aware of the above things and acting accordingly will make you more resilient and help you on the path to a meaningful life.

This completes my series of posts on The Art of Meaningful Living.