Four main elements of resilience

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There are four main elements of resilience. The first one is purpose — akin to motivation and goal setting and what gets us out of bed in the morning. The second one is connection.  Those are relationships — anything that stops us from being isolated. The third ingredient of resilience is adaptability or flexibility. That’s our skill to roll with things and go with the flow when unexpected stuff happens.And the fourth ingredient of resilience is hope. And that’s about realistic opportunity for not just surviving, but to thrive, as well.

Purpose. Connection. Adaptability. Hope.

They look completely different for each person, so there’s no wrong way to do resilience. Resilience is a powerful tool, no matter how you apply it in your own life. And a connection for one person is like one solid family member or a friend. For others, maybe a huge network of people that they socialize with, even online. So there’s no wrong way to have a connection.

It’s helpful to use the example of a tree
It’s both a metaphor and an analogy, depending on how you look at it. The purpose is the fruit of the tree. What are you doing? What are you producing? What are you creating in your life? What are your goals and your motivations? And they really need to be reevaluated in a disaster and we can’t stick to the old ones. We’ve got to change them up a little bit, which is hard.

Connections are the roots of the tree that ground it and give it support and nutrients. And a palm tree, for example, has a single taproot that goes way down deep. And that’s all that tree needs, it’s enough. And an oak tree has a wide network that spreads out just like people’s individual needs are met differently.

Adaptability is the skill that that tree has to sway in the wind. If a person, like a tree, is inflexible and rigid and will not adjust, it will crack and break. We’ve seen that all over, not just in Washington, but all over the country. People needing to adapt to the changing circumstances, they’re going to do a lot better.

Hope is the last thing and hope is based on realistic opportunity. Hope is not optimism. Optimism is a little bit too much “Unicorns and rainbows.” Hope is about realistic opportunity for how to overcome challenges and where you can potentially thrive when you thought you just had to survive. And if you’re going to extend the tree metaphor, hope is the moss that grows on the north side where it’s dark and cold and you don’t get the stuff, but it still does fine. It still thrives.

Optimism is a little bit too much
“Unicorns and rainbows.”

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