Resilience is a vital skill. It’s crucial to our health, happiness, and leadership. Resilience is a muscle that we can strengthen – ideally before we really need it. Positive psychology research and best practices show that we can build resilience strengths or habits for Post-Traumatic Growth.
Since I enjoyed and reviewed Neil’s previous book, The Happiness Equation, he sent me an advance copy of his new book, You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life (November publication).
You Are Awesome centers on nine key factors. He calls them “secrets,” but these approaches are well-known and researched. Here are a few key points that stood out for me:
- We tend to catastrophize the size of our problems and lose perspective on where they fit in our lives.
- We incorrectly think it’s all about me. Others aren’t shining a spotlight on everything we do. People focus on themselves, not us.
- We often see our future as a continuation of the way things are now. When times are tough, it’s very hard to see the steps that will take us to better times. When we look back, we can see how those tough times or failures took us to a better place. This helps build our resilience.
- Social and mainstream media companies use fear to get our attention by bombarding us with negative headlines (truly fake news). We need to be more intentional with our attention and buffer all that destructive static and deadly noise.
- The stories we’re telling ourselves to interpret our experiences often skew toward what’s wrong rather than what’s right with us and the world. We can rewrite our stories to keep reminding ourselves just how good we have it.
- Neil uses three questions to tell himself a different story:
- Will this matter on my deathbed?
- Can I do something about this?
- Is this a story I’m telling myself?
- Our vision or ambition should exceed our current abilities. We should stretch our imagination to picture where we want to get better or what we want to change. We then fail our way to success by learning and growing to make it happen.
- Lose more to win more. We often don’t realize how many failures people have worked through to become successful. Moving through failure is the key to resilience and success.
- We need to counter multi-tasking with blocking out significant time to focus on single tasks that are most important to us.
- Restrict your choices, keep decisions simple, and don’t overthink or second guess yourself.
Neil blends an intimate personal and family biography, with research, practical how-to applications, breezy humor, and clever turns of phrase (“Resilience is being able to see that tiny little sliver of light between the door and the frame just after you hear the latch click”). What sets this book apart from over 10,000 books on resilience listed at Amazon is Neil’s highly engaging writing style.
An entertaining and inspiring read to help you bounce back and keep growing – especially during tough times. You Are Awesome brings alive the axiom that tough times don’t last, but tough people do.