Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Using Resilience to Transform Your New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again and we're all getting bombarded with messages telling us to set our goals, start eating right, and get our butts down to the local gym.  You know, the same stuff we've all tried before - the seemingly futile annual exercise of making our New Years resolutions...

Presumably you'd like to have a stupendous year in 2011.  After all, who wouldn't?  In the rush to decide on our New Years resolutions, though, one critical element is usually overlooked, and that element is embodied in the wise words, "Before doing, one must be."

Indeed, of all those who make resolutions at New Years, few are left by early March.  The reason, though, has little to do with what you're attempting, whether that's to lose weight, eat right or get in shape.  Instead it has everything to do with who is attempting it, with what's going on in your head.  And that's where resilience comes to your rescue.

You see, resilience isn't simply a result, it's also a way of life, an organizing principle, a different life paradigm.  It's easy to say to yourself, "I've got a weight problem; better do something about it..." or "My back is giving me grief.  Time to see the chiropractor."   It's a totally different thing to say to yourself, "From this day, from this hour, from this moment, I will choose only that which makes me a stronger person on every level."  

Every decision you make on a daily basis will make you stronger or weaker.  And that strength could be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or some combination thereof.  Resilience is about consistently choosing what empowers you, builds you up, develops all of your human capacities.  

A friend of mine who grew up in China suffered chronic headaches as a child.  They could have given him all kinds of drugs - our medical system would have - or focused narrowly on finding the cause of his headaches.  Instead, his physician sent him off to learn Tai Chi and to practice for at least an hour a day.  Not surprisingly, his headaches soon disappeared and this sickly child became strong, tough and vibrantly healthy because and only because his physician knew resilience was the answer - strengthen the patient's overall health and immunity so that his health challenge will disappear on its own.  

If you really want a remarkable 2011, then I invite you to do one thing only - decide right here and right now that from this moment, you're going to choose only what strengthens you, that you're going to dedicate yourself to building up all of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacities and, to borrow the US Army's super successful advertising slogan, "be all you can be." 

People who embrace resilience as the organizing principle of their lives - as all the top ancient cultures taught their children to do - are truly a breed apart.  We think and act differently from the majority.  While others are scurrying around in often misplaced attempts to change their circumstances while desperately hanging on to the very lifestyle that created those circumstances, we're busy working on ourselves, knowing that as we change, so will our circumstances in life.  Before doing, one must be....

So if you'd like to have an incredible year, stick around, become a practitioner of personal  resilience and remake yourself and your life in the process.  Together we'll have a great adventure and there are lots of great learning opportunities coming your way in 2011.

Once you begin to think like a practitioner of personal resilience, your New Years resolutions will take on a whole new life...

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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