Category Archives: Resiliency

How to help yourself

Ask yourself what you need.  There’s lots of advice out there to help you through. But only a very small slice will work for you.  Start by asking, “what do I need right now, this moment, this day?” The quick answer may come back that you need something out of your reach – a trip to Aruba, a paycheck, to be able to get out of the house, for your home to clean itself, for everything to go back to normal. If that’s what happens, keep asking.  Keep going until you find something you need right now that you can do something about. Even unattainable things outside of your control have a seed of metaphor in them.  Aruba might symbolize some break in the action and sunshine on your face, even for five minutes. A paycheck might mean finding a feeling of safety in the middle of the fearful moment.  The fields of resiliency and wellness have a lot of universal principles that are research and experience-tested. It’s great to be informed.  But you’re you. There’s no-one like you. And the ways you help yourself are yours alone. So, what do you need?

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Is it social distancing or physical distancing?

We’ve been calling it social distancing. But I hope it’s not for you. I hope it’s just physical distancing. We need our social fabric more than we may have ever needed them.  So get closer – virtually – to the people you care about and the people you interact with. Get closer – again, virtually – to your social support.  It’s physical distancing, not social distancing.

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Thank everyone who helps you

Social support and society’s gifts to us (in exchange for our money of course) have gone from assumed to questionable. Uncertainty is shaking everything up. But we can still go to food stores when needed. And when we do, what is it like for us? We can be worried about other people being too close, touching things, getting everything on our list, prices rising with supply chain disruption. And we can unconsciously go about it the way we always have, in a world of our own, chafing at the lines or still not being able to buy toilet paper. There of course is an alternative, the antidote to fear. Appreciation.  Thank each and every person who helps you – the cashier, the bagger in the supermarket, any clerk anywhere. Of course thank any health care worker who helps you – virtually or in person. But the food providers we come in contact with are risking their health and their lives so we can eat. And they’re doing it for very little money, less money than we make, or used to make. See how appreciation, just like fear and just like the virus, is contagious. And see how unlike those two it helps, both them and you.

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Eye contact isn’t contagious

COVID-19 is highly contagious. But not from eye contact. Visit any public place and you’d be forgiven for assuming that indeed eye contact is dangerous.  We go out in public when we must and treat any others as the enemy. They might have and might get us sick. They aren’t taking this seriously enough.  So the big question is, are we all in this together or not? If we act like it’s every person for themselves, then we’re not living ‘we’re all in this together’. We’re living ‘us vs. them’. And that’s an old game that has no winners. Try making eye contact. If you’re wearing a mask, raise a hand in greeting. If you’re not wearing a mask, give them their space, make eye contact and smile. They, just like you, are afraid. They’re not going to go first. It’s up to you.

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Four articles to help your resiliency

I’m thinking of you, home and with a world turned upside down in two weeks. I feel energized to be helpful and of use to you. Here is one way. I looked back and found these articles I wrote that may be help you today.These articles focus on resiliency. Quix Tip: BreatheSquirrels don’t do daylight savings timeQuix Tip: Stay in the GameHow to Savor the Moment

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Charge or recharge?

You have a very important meeting to drive to. It’s about an hour drive and you just left late – behind already. You drive faster than you usually would, trying to make up some time. As you get nearer your destination, your car splutters, coughs and stops. You forgot to look at how much gas you had. You’re out of gas. You abandon your car and start running on foot to the appointment. Or you get behind your car and start pushing it towards your destination (let’s say you’ve got two members of the high school football team with you that stopped to help you). That’s what I often see on stressed teams. And most teams are stressed. And most team members are stressed. It’s all charge and no recharge. We’re behind on endless deadlines. We hurtle from one thing to the next trying to go faster. We hit the wall somewhere along the way. Distance athletes also call this ‘the bonk’. And we keep trying to go on, keep pushing past our limits. We forget about working smart. We just work harder. It’s our habit. The car is out of gas and we’re running. Or we’re pushing the team car. The ‘charge’ is the only part this culture values. The ever-upward line on the graph. If you’re sick of that game, play the ignored game. Head down instead. Recharge. “When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools, dig a way out through the bottom to the ocean.” -Rumi

Also posted in Persistence | Comments closed

Steph Curry tries something new for the offseason

“Basketball you are consumed by for nine full months every single day. In the playoffs, every game feels like two regular season games in one. You need to just be able to turn it off.” – Stephen Curry Golden State Warrior point guard Stephen Curry’s workouts are legendary. No matter what city he’s playing in, the stands fill up well before the game to watching him go through his insane pre-game routine. He worked himself out of “pretty good” into “unanimous MVP.” After winning his third championship in the past four years, he did something different the summer of 2018. He rested. He shut down his body to give it a break. No basketball, no lifting weights, nothing. Three weeks, nothing. Then he slowly returned to physical exertion with biking and yoga. The other side of the persistence coin is to persist with rest and recharging. You have no idea how stressed you are right now, how tired and worn down you are right now, how badly you could use some rest. And you won’t until you stop. If you’re playing the long game, recovery times are the shortest path to maximum passion, engagement, productivity These ‘persistence recharger’ rests ideally happen daily (breaks during the day), weekly (some time devoted to shutting down), quarterly (workday days off), AND annually (at least a week solid away from all of it). If Stephen Curry can pause for three weeks, so can you.

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The two illusions of being behind and catching up

Being behind feels bad. Catching up feels great! Both are powerful feelings, and I wouldn’t deny you either of them. But what are we actually behind? Who decides that? And have we really caught up? Every new moment brings new opportunities and new possible tasks. It may be more helpful to remember that these feelings are illusions. We are neither of them – neither ahead or behind. We’re just right here, right now.

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Where feet hit the ground

Our bodies are meant to move. But we don’t just get physical rewards. In the office, leaving the house, walking our errands, leaving the car alone and using our feet instead. Where our feet hit the ground? That’s where adventure and connection happens.

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Squirrels don’t do daylight savings time

I set the clocks forward. And I looked out the window at a squirrel chasing another squirrel in the snow. And the birds at the feeder. And the chipmunks that just came out of hibernation, also running over the snow. They are on the same clock they were yesterday, and the same clock that they will be on tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that. They don’t do clock time. They do energy time. And ‘earth around the sun’ time. So do we, really. Clock time allows us to be in agreement with each other about things that we deem important. But we are animals too. And our primary time is measured in energy, not with the clock. Live by your ‘energy time’. Do the most important things that you are most passionate about during the time of day where you have the most energy. And don’t make any important decisions or try to do anything important in your ebb tide of energy in your day. Long before we humans had clocks, we had energy. If you want to live your passion today follow your daylight energy time.

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