Resilience is similar to toughness, well, it is toughness, but it’s deeper, it’s inner strength and fortitude. Resilience could have also been the title for this part of the course, which brings up a truly great book by Eric Greitens called, Resilience. In his book, Greitens, a former Navy SEAL talks about something we’ve touched on thus far, that there is no such thing as ‘rising to the occasion’.
Navy SEALs train ridiculously hard. Just to be considered to become a SEAL you first
Have to pass buds, BUD/S, which is a 3-week brutal course that’s now famous the world over, where the goal is to essentially weed out those who cannot handle the load. After that course, the trials don’t stop. They’re constantly training for the worst case scenario because it’s known in the military that you cannot just show up and expect to endure the trials that battles bring, the horrors that it thrusts into your lap, or the shit that will inevitably hit the fan.
You do not rise to the occasion, you merely fall back on your training.
This notion that you have simply ‘have’ resilience is not a risk I’d like to take. Why would you risk it when history shows that it’s those who are best prepared that achieve success. Those who don’t prepare, quit, die, and lose.
Life is Brutal
Life has its great times, but it also has its inevitable failures, losses, and downright
difficult times times that we have no other choice but to endure. The act of enduring, however, isn’t merely getting through something. So often when tough times come, we wait them out. What actually has to happen is that, even though we may not be motivated, even if our backs are against the wall and we really just want this struggle to end, we instead have to UP our game rather than falling down and regressing to our current situation.
That’s tough to understand when life’s shitty, when bad things happen, and when it seems like everything we do is just unsuccessful, but it’s true. You do not lower yourself to the difficulty, but improve how you work, think, and act so that the climb out (it may not be easier) is quicker, and that it happens at all.
While we can train fortitude, we also need to alter how we think about this, and I’ve learned this from experience. The situation is never as doom and gloom as it seems.
1. See things from above and from the future.
I just had a minor crisis. At its onset, I admit I freaked out a bit. I thought of the worst case rather than seeing is from the correct perspective, which is from above and from the future. Everything I’ve tackled in my life, in the moment, seemed a hell of a lot tougher than it is. And when you see it as a part of society or even the planet, when you see in your minds eye how others are struggling, what they’re going through and how they’re enduring, whatever it is you’re in the middle of can be tackled and overcome.
See the struggle from the correct perspective. See it along with how everyone else struggles. You’re not alone with it, and there are a lot of people going through a hell of a lot worse than you or I are right at this very moment. And then see it from the future, from having gotten through it – which you will – and have that peace that’s going to come in time anyway.
2. Accept the struggle, the pain, the loss, the failure.
Don’t deny its existence. Don’t wish it wasn’t here. This is your life right now, and you have to accept it as it is. The only thing you can ever do is make the best of a situation. If you do that, you can endure anything.
3. Move forward.
You cannot stop, you have to move forward, toward your goals, and you’d damn-well better have goals. A life without goals is a tough proposition. We need to be moving forward, to be improving, growing, evolving, and learning to feel as though we’re in some way winning. Stay the course. Keep the discipline. And continue struggling to achieve your goals.
4. Don’t wade, swim.
Make a decision. Be decisive. No one can respect anyone who’s wishy washy about anything in life. Be decisive! Be clear about your decisions, but make them quickly and move forward. The worst thing you can do is to not make a decision. To just sit and wait. You have to decide. You have to act fast. And if it ends up being the wrong decision, then you can deal with that later, in the future, but at least you’re moving forward.
5. Don’t get down on yourself.
You’re the fucking man. You’ve done stuff. You have potential. There’s a lot of people who would like to be you, to have what you have, to have the skills and charisma you have. Keep that in mind. You’re still the fucking man, that doesn’t change because of a change in circumstance. Keep the confidence. You can and will climb out of this, just don’t get down on yourself. You are not your situation. It’s a part of the process. You’ll learn lessons from this, it will not be your life’s story, nor will it be your end.
6. Become more disciplined.
You don’t give up or give in to how the rest of the world lives, or how you think others live on the instagram or whatever people are following now. No, you double down. You adopt more discipline to ensure that you control what you can because in times of tribulation it seems like so much is out of our control. Control what you can. The time you wake up. Your workouts. How you work, when you work, what you work on, what you aim to achieve. Be more disciplined, not less. Continue training fortitude, don’t let the situation change that quest and necessity.
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7. Maintain adventure.
If you want to feel like you’re living for a reason, and if you want to feel alive, embark on some kind of adventure. Life’s better when we are doing so. That’s what I’d deem as “life”. We have to work, we have to make money and so on and so forth, but it’s the adventure that inspires us to work harder, that makes us feel alive. It motivates us. When you’re only in your routine, it can get boring, your problems can become all too powerful, they can grab a hold of you and your life and suffocate whatever inspiration you had within you. Do your work, be disciplined so that you can embark on adventures.