If one thing is certain in life, it’s that we will all face challenges. Some will be small and easy to overcome, but others will require great strength to push through.
When presented with such challenges, many of us struggle to keep going.
Others, however, seem to have an almost superhuman ability to persevere.
While our upbringing and genetics can have an impact on how we deal with the inevitable struggles of life, so too can the things we do on a daily basis.
Today, we discuss 3 things resilient people do every day.
Often naturally resilient people do these things without much thought or without even realizing it.
…but for the rest of us, they can be developed.
As someone who struggled with persevering in the past, learning about these was a game-changer for me. It might be for you too.
Let’s dive in.
1) They practice gratitude
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
While, at times, the world can seem to be against us, we all have things to be grateful for.
However, many of us don’t take the time to think about these things. We are too busy pursuing our goals, worrying about the future, and dealing with the challenges life throws at us.
The problem is that this type of mindset can only keep us going for so long. There comes a time when we feel overloaded, and we forget what we are doing it for.
We forget to take a step back and smell the roses.
I experienced this firsthand a few years back when I was in the midst of getting a new business off the ground.
As any of you who have started something from the ground up will know, there are always more problems to solve, more things to plan for, and more things to worry about.
Unsurprisingly, I ended up on the verge of giving up and throwing away all the work I had already put in. That was until a mentor of mine sat me down and set me straight.
What advice did he give me?
Well, it was a long conversation, but what it really came down to was practicing gratitude on a daily basis.
As he suggested, I began starting each day by writing down a few things that I was grateful for. I wrote down anything that came to mind; some things were in relation to the progression of the business, while others were just simple things like the coffee I was drinking when doing so.
To be honest, it felt a little silly at first. But it worked. After a few days, I began to regain my motivation and clarity.
I continued practicing gratitude every morning and sometimes before I went to bed.
This habit gave me the strength to keep going in the face of many challenges. Without it, I would have given up.
And I am not alone.
On exploring gratitude, I found the evidence of its benefits to be astounding.
I also found that resilient people have been doing it for centuries. Most notably, it was a key habit of the stoics.
In a letter, Seneca, one of the most influential stoics, wrote, “We should try by all means to be as grateful as possible. For gratitude is a good thing for ourselves … gratitude returns in large measure unto itself. “
But we don’t have to look so far back in history for evidence.
More recently, Albert Einstein noted, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
And today, we don’t have to look far to find resilient figures who practice gratitude. As reported by CNBC, Oprah, Ariana Huffington, and Tony Robbins are all advocates of it.
Many resilient people may not even know they are doing this. They might not be writing down what they are grateful for every morning. But you can be pretty certain it is part of their mindset.
2) They reflect
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Reflection is another key habit of resilient individuals.
Knowing ourselves, our strengths, and our limitations can serve as a compass in the stormy waters of uncertainty that the tides of life bring our way.
Journaling is the most obvious form of reflection common to countless resilient individuals.
Marcus Aurelius, who as a Roman Emporer was one of the most powerful men in the world at the time, was a huge fan of journaling.
Other famous journallers include Anne Frank, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, and Charles Darwin.
There is no doubt that all of these people faced challenges unimaginable to most of us, but they persevered.
Studies also back up the connection between resilience and journaling. A study by Cambridge University found that journaling improves well-being after a stressful event, while a different study found it reduces worry.
But what is journaling? It’s intentional reflection.
Many resilient people don’t even realize they are doing it as it comes naturally to them.
They don’t need to pull out a journal every morning. But they are constantly assessing and analyzing past events without consciously thinking about doing so.
It didn’t come naturally to me, however, and writing helps me to organize my thoughts clearly.
I have been journaling for some time now and can say that it has helped me to better understand myself, maintain a realistic perspective, and approach challenges with more confidence and patience.
If you struggle with perseverance, adopting this daily habit might be a good idea.
The next thing was perhaps the most important lesson for me, however.
3) They focus on process, not outcomes
This was a big lesson for me. When I started my first business, I expected quick success. I had it all planned out, and while it might have been possible, life had other plans.
I was so focused on the results and continually changed the process so much that I just ended up chasing my tail. You can probably guess what happened. I lost motivation and called it quits before I probably should have.
It wasn’t until years later when working with a seasoned business person, I learned that results, more often than not, are a result of sustained inputs.
He had navigated recessions, lived in six countries, spoke five languages, and ran huge businesses, so I was inclined to listen to his advice. He told me it’s about the process, and once goals are defined, the process should be the priority because that’s all we can control.
In a world that glamorizes results, resilient individuals focus on what they do rather than what the result is.
That’s not to say that they don’t care about the result; they do. They simply know that things in life can take longer than expected. They know that inputs are within their control, but outcomes are not.
While I haven’t perfected it (I can still be impatient), this thinking has really helped me to get through tough times, times when a younger me would have given up.
I have focused on business with my examples, but this kind of thinking can also apply to other areas of our lives.
Think about going to the gym; you don’t control results. You control the process; focus on that.
Think about your significant other; you don’t control how they feel. You control your inputs into the relationship. Focus on those.
Trust me. It’s a much more sustainable way of being than constantly worrying about outcomes, which, more often than not, are not in your control.
With the right inputs and time, you give yourself the best chance of succeeding. An outcome focus will see you give up when things don’t go as expected.
Again, this is something that comes naturally to many resilient people. They aren’t even aware that they do it, but for the rest of us, it’s something we can adopt.
The bottom line
Many of us would like to be more resilient. Who wouldn’t, really?
However, it’s easy to tell ourselves that we are just not as strong as others.
While some people are naturally stronger than others, be it because of upbringing or genetics, the things we do in our daily lives can have a great impact on our ability to persevere.
They did for me, at least.
Until next time.