Over the years, I have had individuals ask me why I call my final dimension of Mission Based Resilience Spiritual Resilience. Some individuals define resilience as bouncing back from adversity. I like to take a different approach and define resilience as bouncing forward into a new an improved position from the old position. Resilience, in my mind, implies always improving oneself and striving to understanding the world around us from different, more advantageous perspectives. If we simply “bounce back” to our normal position after we encounter stress, we never grow. We always want to grow and improve our Spiritual positions, hence the term Spiritual Resilience.
Spiritual Resilience Training Plan
Your spiritual resilience training plan should be detailed enough to set the direction for your present and future life. Remember to answer the why in his plan and develop task lists and supporting actions that will drive you in the direction of your plan and reach your ultimate goal. Remember when you showed up to your first real job? You most likely went through some type of training and you were given the strategic mission statement of the company or your division. You spent weeks if not months getting to know the culture and the direction of the company before you became somewhat effective. Having a roadmap for your life should be at least as important as your job, if not more important. Imagine the most successful company that you know, and I assure you that they have a strategic plan in place.
Understanding the Universe
I remember walking with my father when I was still in single digits after a rare hurricane had passed through our home town of Fall River, Massachusetts. Power lines were down, electricity was out, the wind was still blowing, and I had a feeling of a surreal power that was in the air. I looked up at the stars and realized how infinitesimally small the planet Earth was and how I was even smaller than that. I looked up at my father and asked him why we were here? That question has haunted me for a long time and I still ask it today. Spiritual Resilience is asking the question “why” and attempting to develop some type of plan where you define your place in the Universe.
Spiritual Resilience defines the direction that we are going in our lives. If we look at our lives as a journey, all the other resiliences-Physical, Mental, Emotional-comprise the various pieces of equipment that we take with us on our journey. The compass that defines our direction or azimuth is our Spiritual Resilience. Knowing where you are going is very important and without some type of Spirituality, your direction is not clearly defined. If you don’t have a clear direction, you may fall for any road and never get to where you want to, or should, go.
Your personal creed will define who you are in the moment. A personal creed is a personal manifesto that drives your deepest desires and defines the important aspects of your personality and your character. Write this personal creed down and have it available when the chips are down. Memorize it. Live it. Breathe it. Be it. Pretty simple but with our busy lives, the personal creed often takes a back burner. Put it on the front burner and see how your daily life starts to align itself with your inner beliefs.
We all want to leave behind a legacy. Even if we don’t think about it, we leave something behind whether we want to or not. Unless you live your entire life in the mountains of North Carolina and don’t interact with anyone, you will impact the lives of many individuals throughout your lives. The issue is that we don’t realize how much of an impact we truly have. Sometimes the impact can be negative, and sometimes the impact can be positive. If you have kids, or thinking about having them, leaving a legacy is very important. I have clients right now who are still being affected by parents in positive and negative ways, and not all the parents are alive! Leaving a legacy should be something deliberate that you think about and plan for, not something that happens by accident.
The Other Centric Approach
Living your life for others and not focusing too much on yourself is the key to a life filled with Spiritual Resilience. We are programmed to cooperate and help other human beings. More than competition, cooperation releases a host of substances in our brains, including dopamine and oxytocin. These substances make us feel content, fulfilled, and connected to each other. Connection to others to serve a higher purpose is the cornerstone of Spiritual Resilience. Remember to bounce forward and beyond your initial position. That means that doing selfless acts for others should be programmed and an integral part of your Spiritual Resilience Plan.
This week look at your Spiritual Resilience Training Plan. Read through it and see if it needs modifications or course corrections. Remember that just like the U.S. Constitution, your plan is living document that changes with time. Develop a Personal Creed and post it somewhere prominent so that you can start absorbing the creed on a daily basis. Practice this for a week and see how you feel. Remember to help others on a daily basis as a general supporting action for your plan. Knowing why you are doing something is more important than knowing what you are doing. Intention is more important than execution. Developing your Spiritual Resilience Plan takes time. Don’t worry if you can complete it in a week; however, start developing something.
“Lean into it!”