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5 Ways to Build Resilience and Conquer Adversity

The People That We Love

Investing in the happiness and wellbeing of others, building relationships and making others' lives a little bit easier has a hidden benefit: Insurance.

By spreading your happiness you automatically take care of your hard days, as that is when your investment pays off in ways you cannot imagine. Take care of people around you, and they will take care of you in tough times.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

5 Ways to Build Resilience and Conquer Adversity

5 Ways to Build Resilience and Conquer Adversity

https://markmanson.net/resilience

markmanson.net

7

Key Ideas

Making A Crisis Out Of Everything

Our diminishing resilience and decreasing psychological threshold of handling pain and struggle is, in turn, making everything look like a crisis.

We are making a catastrophe out of everything, getting offended at the drop of a hat, mostly for no legitimate reason other than our own ego-filled state of being.

Psychological Resilience

Psychological resilience is not about fake positivity and takes its power from our negative feelings. It makes our anger, sadness, failure and self-loathing into something useful and productive.

When we become sufficiently resilient, we are unstoppable and limitless.

Care For Someone Else

Our focus on the self has made us fearful and overwhelmed, especially in times of crisis. Part of our anxiety is the constant focus on oneself. Even if we do focus on others, it is only to judge them about how they feel about us, and what they think about us.

If instead of our inner selfishness, we find a greater cause to endure the crisis or risk, some deeper purpose or mission that eclipses our ego, then the crisis is taken care of.

What We Can Control

  • We cannot control most of the outside events and circumstances including our past, the weather, natural disasters or freak accidents.

  • We cannot control what other people say, think or feel about us.

  • What we can control is what we think, say or do. We can choose to react or not react. We suffer because we catastrophize the stuff that happens around us, unable to understand that the pain is unavoidable, but the suffering is avoidable. The day we stop that internal suffering, we become invincible.

Optimism And Pessimism

If we expect others to be rude, impolite, backstabbing and untrustworthy, they won't really surprise us. It somehow makes our day easier, if we know it in advance. We understand beforehand that life is going to be hard, but we will handle it and learn from it. This is inner optimism but outer pessimism.

Pain And Meaning

  • No matter how good we expect life to be, the pain, suffering, and the constant struggle is what gives meaning to life. The sweet isn't sweet without the sour.

  • It is through our hardships that we are grateful towards what we have and it is our unpleasant experiences that push us out of our comfort zone and make us learn lifelong lessons.

  • Pain is good, and you can leverage your hardships to carve out a diamond out of you.

The People That We Love

Investing in the happiness and wellbeing of others, building relationships and making others' lives a little bit easier has a hidden benefit: Insurance.

By spreading your happiness you automatically take care of your hard days, as that is when your investment pays off in ways you cannot imagine. Take care of people around you, and they will take care of you in tough times.

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Suffering with others

It is comforting to know that other people have wrestled with the same questions we're facing, and have left us their best wisdom.

  • The Mahayana branch of Buddhism includes the idea of a bodhisattva - a person who's is willing to postpone their own ultimate well-being in order to help others along the path to their well-being. Ask yourself if you're willing to suffer a bit more.
  • The Buddhist teaching of the Middle Way warns against both extremes of self-denial and self-indulgence.

“The Arrow”

Guilt is often counterproductive. It makes us feel paralyzed. However, when we are in this state, we are not helping anyone.

One Buddhist teaching could be helpful as one wrestles with this problem. It's found in a discourse called the Sallatha Sutta, known as "The Arrow." When someone has a painful experience, like a physical illness or witnessing suffering, it's as if the world has shot an arrow into the person. The pain is normal. When one tries to make up a story around the pain, you shoot a second arrow into yourself.

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Get used to the problem

When you are first confronted with a problem, it can all seem daunting. Don't dive right in. 

Take a break, go for a walk, ask for some time to think things over, close your eyes for 10 ...

Define the problem

Ask people to explain it to you a few times. Keep asking questions to really get to the root of the problem. 

Then go ahead and explain the problem to someone else, just to make sure you really understand it. Often times, simply formulating the problem and explaining it to others can help you understand it better. And that is the first crucial step to solving a problem.

Put things into perspective

No matter how awful your situation may be, rest assured that someone else has been through the same thing. 

It is important to realize how your situation compares to the rest of what you are doing, and how bad it really is compared to all the good things in your life. 

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Lao Tzu

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this,..."

Lao Tzu

Take every experience as a lesson

Whenever you find yourself in an unpleasant or difficult situation, try to see what you can take away from this very experience.

Try to perceive your experiences as lessons and to understand them, so you can feel at ease with the others and with yourself. 

Read between the lines

Whenever you deal with difficult people, take into account two aspects: you should not let their actions affect your life in a negative way and you may want to try first to understand them, rather than just to judge them. 

After all, they might be fighting a battle you know nothing about.

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