Sometimes biggest life lessons are learned from the simplest moments of life. All it needs is little attention to what is happening around and then suddenly you get a flash of insight in the mind that changes the perspective of some area or concern of your life. Something like this happened with me as well.
A new house was being constructed in our locality after demolishing the old structure. I was walking pass the construction site but stood there for a moment to see the design and structure that it was dwelling towards. Since it was a street corner house, its two sides were visible from the street. The other side of the wall that was not facing me directly was constructed only half and the day’s work was not yet started. I saw a curious cat around the wall definitely searching for her prey as not everyone would be interested to see constructions like I do. The cat was furiously moving around the wall, perhaps would have realized that its prey has escaped on the other side. Her hunger was clearly evident from her restlessness as she was crazily attempting to climb the wall but was falling short of it. Perhaps this sight is very common and we would have seen such scenes many times, but there was something uncommon about this one. The cat was not willing to quit this time, may be her hunger held her there, as animals certainly don’t have Ego to stay mad at someone the way we have. In the process of furious jumps, she mishandled herself many times and indeed injured herself in one of the attempts. I was spell bound with the fact that even after those bad landings and hurting limbs, she was not quitting. Whether she made it to the wall or not is not our story here, rather what made her bounce back even after rough landings or setbacks? I dint realize this in that moment as it was only entertaining me. The insight came to me at night before sleep that what made that cat bounce back was the clarity of purpose and alignment with the purpose. This made her get up and jump again. She was not conscious about being observed or failing. This is where animals are better than us as they live with their instincts and are hence focussed on what they have in hand.
One of the best examples of resilience is shown by the recently retired Indian cricketer Ashish Nehra. In his 19 years of career (1999 – 2017) he underwent over 12 major surgeries and had always struggled with fitness, but he was still able to make a comeback in the team competing against young and fit players. What made him resilient to comeback? It was the clarity of his purpose and alignment with it to ‘play for India’.
It’s important to understand a distinction between PURPOSE and GOAL. The purpose is malleable in nature and acts the base for your personal vision. This can then be translated into measurable milestones called GOALS. For example, Ashish Nehra’s purpose was to ‘play for India and win matches’ and this can be transposed into measurable goals like getting selected for the team, having a balling economy of less than 6 per over, taking 100 wickets in ODIs etc.
Following steps have been helping me and can help you to practice resilience
- Having a Clarity of Purpose
- Creating continuous Alignment with Purpose (always keep it in sight and awareness through mobile wallpapers, desktop wallpapers, poster or even your business cards can have it or simply affirm it everyday)
- Develop your method of Detachment from Problem Not People. (use tools like meditation, self realizations, self enquiry, counselling, coaching etc, whatever suits you)
- Practice 3Ps approach to a problem – Perception, Procedure and Place. First try changing your perception about the problem by seeking more information and genuinely understanding other’s viewpoint, if it still doesn’t work then try changing procedure or the method you are using to deal with it. If it still doesn’t work, then change the place, as you definitely don’t belong there.
The above steps help us think more clearly by taking the real view of the situation rather than living in the perceived view of the problem and hence it enables realignment with the Purpose. This builds the muscles of Resilience, the power to bounce back.
Sending Love, laughter and joy……. Parth