A to Z of Happiness: R - Resilience #atozchallenge @AprilA2Z

Life is full of all kinds of challenges, hardships, setbacks and disappointments. So many times, things don't work out the way we planned. We fail in our endeavors, we suffer financial losses, or health issues, or heartbreaks... or all of them at once! (Oh yes! For some, all hell DOES break loose!)

But the thing about life is that it WANTS to live.

What Is Resilience?

We all have an inherent survival instinct within us. And I'm not just talking about us humans, but about ALL living things. The whole planet, in fact. We are NOT made to give up. Perhaps, that's the reason for evolutionary adaption.

Our "default setting" is that of resilience. It is the ability to bounce back up after a fall. It allows us to come out of difficulties and adverse life conditions, by adapting and learning.


So if "resilience" is in our very nature, why do SO MANY of us find it so difficult to "come back"? Why does it take so many years for some of us to heal, to recover, and to move on? And why do some people just quit? On their very existence?

As I was researching the internet on this topic, I learnt that resilient people have a specific set of characteristics. And surprisingly, all of those characteristics are present in my A-to-Z list of happiness! Which means that resilient people are naturally HAPPIER people! Have a look at these characteristics:

10 Ways In Which Resilient People Are Happier

  1. They have faith in their own strength and ability to overcome challenges. And they BELIEVE in life (Covered under 'B'), that it will give them a second chance.

  2. They have a goal to fight for, a goal they believe in, and that gives them the HOPE (Covered under 'H') and INSPIRATION (Covered under 'I') to get back on their feet and continue chasing their dreams with renewed vigor.

  3. They are OPTIMISTIC people (Covered under 'O') who look for the silver lining in every situation. For them, even their failures are opportunities to learn something new and better.

  4. They have a childlike desire to experiment and EXPLORE new possibilities (Covered under 'E'), which makes them more resilient. Their interest in "what was" is very quickly replaced by their curiosity of "what could be".

  5. They ACCEPT (Covered under 'A') that there are certain things they can't control, and simply DISREGARD them (Covered under 'D'), so that they can focus all their energy towards those battles which they have a chance of winning.

  6. Resilient people don't take life too seriously. They don't take their successes and failures too seriously either. They tend to look for the humor in every situation. And this element of JEST (Covered under 'J') is what helps them bounce back up so easily.

  7. They keep trying to find innovative solutions for their problems. When confronted with a challenge, their focus automatically shifts to "How can I better equip myself to deal with this?" They are seekers of KNOWLEDGE (Covered under 'K')... about themselves, about others, about their business/profession.

  8. They have a set of VALUES in life (Covered under 'V') that are important to them and that give a sense of purpose and direction to their life, like a "Vision/Mission Statement". When they face setbacks, they just pause for a moment, and then realign themselves with those values.

  9. Above all, they take responsibility for their health and WELL-BEING. (Covered under 'W'.) Because they know that they'll be able to fight again ONLY if they have sound physical, mental and emotional health.

  10. And lastly, they understand the importance of having a strong social support network, for dealing with personal tragedies. So they continuously strive to BUILD such a network around them, by being XENIAL (Covered under 'X') and spreading LOVE (Covered under 'L'.)

What these characteristics show us is that resilience and happiness are very closely linked to each other. But, MORE IMPORTANTLY, it also gives us an implementable action-plan to become more resilient, so that problems don't break us that easily. (Or at least not in so many pieces that we, like poor old Humpty Dumpty, cannot be put together again!)

And HOW do we become more resilient? By adopting the above characteristics as a part of our own personality.

What Makes Resilient People Different From The Rest?

Resilient people don't let adversity and stress define them. They always remember that things tend to work out in the end, because that's how life is. They live by the motto "this too shall pass", and believe that "what doesn't kill them, makes them stronger".

They experience grief, anger, pain, and all such negative emotions, just like everyone else, but they don't get "stuck" in those emotions. And, because of all the characteristics discussed above, they tend to find greater contentment from their lives.

I think I'm fairly resilient. And I think it's mostly because of my curiosity for learning new things. Although I DO need to work more on numbers 9 and 10.

What about you? Do you find it easy to bounce back up? How many of these characteristics do you think you have?

This is my 18th post for A to Z of Happiness.

I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

(Continued below sponsored content)

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Want to Add Something?

Leanne said...

Hi Chicky - thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your R for Resilience - it's one of my favourite words (and attitudes!) I lost my resilience a few years ago and worked really hard to get it back again. To be able to let life be what it is, and still smile every day is what resilience is all about for me.
Is it time to think about retiring? Or is there an alternative to consider before taking the leap? Leanne | cresting the hill

Kim Richardson said...

Interesting post, Chicky. Those 10 points are quite thought provoking. I've always felt I was fairly resilient but I'm well aware that there are some things it takes me a lot longer to get over!

Debbie D. said...

Excellent advice! They live by the motto "this too shall pass", and believe that "what doesn't kill them, makes them stronger". These are two of my favourite credos! Also: "it could be worse". ☺

the little princess said...

This is one the most comprehensive posts on resilience I have read..You have it all covered. True, resilience does lead to happiness! Well written!

Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

Emily Bloomquist said...

The happiest people do seem to be the most resilient. Conversely the least happy seem rooted in the past, unable to move forward.

Good post, Chicky.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador

Lillian Csernica said...

Excellent post! For me, sleep is the key to resilience. That and my writing. If I'm not writing, I get what I think of as "emotionally congested." Happy A to Z!

Lillian A to Z: Art Nouveau

Shirley Corder said...

Resilience! Excellent choice of word for R. And yes, I think I'm fairly resilient. Thanks for your visit to R is Regarding Research as you Build a Better Blog #atozchallenge

Irfanuddin said...

while reading i was just thinking these lines...
हौसला मत हार गिर कर ओ मुसाफिर,
ठोकरें ही तो इन्सान को चलना सिखाती हैं...

and just to mention that I am optimistic and always accept things as they come....well written post :)

Geetika Gupta said...

It is the resilience that makes us successful and move forward in life! I like all the points you described here!


Molly of Molly's Canopy said...

Excellent post. Resilience is the opposite of rigidity and, as you point out, is all about flexible and adaptive thinking and behaviors. In New York City, where I live, we are known for resilience -- which has helped us through many a crisis!

Cathy Graham said...

Another great post, Chicky. I've been enjoying your series and how they're all connected. Resilience is definitely a trait that's needed in this life. I'm better than I used to be. I used to take failure so personally and wallow in self pity for ages. Now I bounce back quicker. I'm also more content with myself and not so worried about what others think of me. Things will never be perfect and there will always be bad stuff that happens but I will get through it somehow.

The Unknown Journey Ahead said...

I thought about how many of these characteristics I have - not enough, is the answer. On the other hand, my mother in law, who is a 3 time cancer survivor - she has most all of these traits.

jaish_vats said...

I think there is something else... DNA :D.... Its in born in some folks plus all other qualities you mentioned... The rest of us learn it the hard way... Sigh!

Jo Hawk said...

Brava! I love reading different posts on the same topic. The diversity is so much fun to read. Time to go read some more.

Jo Hawk The Writer

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Leanne. I suppose, the fact that we even try not to drown, is a sign of our resilience.

Chicky Kadambari said...

It's the same with me too, Kim. Some things take longer to heal from. Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Definitely that, Debbie! It sure could be a lot worse!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Princess :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Well put, Emily. Thanks :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Sleep and writing? That's an interesting technique, Lillian! Thanks :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thanks Shirley :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Very apt lines, Irfanuddin. Optimism rocks! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Geets :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Agree, Molly. Flexibility makes us resilient. Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Cathy! :)
I have usually been a bouncy sort of person, except for a few years in between, when I lost my footing, due to being stuck in an extremely negative social circle. Recovering my normal self here in Jaipur now.

Chicky Kadambari said...

@The Unknown Journey Ahead : 3 times cancer survivor? :O
Definitely a fighter!

Chicky Kadambari said...

LOL! That too, I guess, Jaish! For me though, it's mostly social network. Too many years in an extremely critical environment makes you question your self worth.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thanks Jo

Lancelot Quadras said...

Hello Kaddu, I totally agree with this. For some like me at one point all is going hunky dory, and the very next moment all hell breaks loose. It's like I'm in quicksand. The only way out is acceptance that I cannot do everything. Be calm and then find my way out!

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Chicki!
Such important points on why resilient people are happier...it's by choice!
I'm resilient and not the kind to wallow in self-pity.
I always remind myself that there are others less fortunate than I am, so why act like my whole world is coming to an end? There are people without basics like food or shelter, and they face other setbacks too, but they are very resilient and bounce back...every time!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Nice to meet you via the A to Z Challenge.
Writer In Transit

Suzy said...

Love that quote - failure is never final unless you make it. Bad times fall on everyone at some point in each life. But dwelling in that for too long is very detrimental. Good post.

Suzy at Someday Somewhere - Respond Intelligently

Beth Lapin said...

Excellent summary and work plan for leading a good life! Nicely presented.

Affirmations for a Good Life

Chicky Kadambari said...

It does feel like quicksand, Lancelot!
Thank you for visiting :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hello Michelle!
Yes, that works every time... when we think about people less fortunate than us. It always brings us back on our feet.
Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

And sooner or later, the bad times DO pass. Right Suzy?

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Beth :)

Vinodini Iyer said...

This is quite a detailed post on resilience. I admire people who are able to pull themselves out of their doldrums through the grit of sheer resilience. Their strength is admirable.

Chicky Kadambari said...

It is, Vinodini. Thank you :)

Sreesha Divakaran said...

Very thought-provoking, Chicky. Made me wonder if I'm resilient, and then figured, maybe I am, to some small extent at least. Maybe this realization will help me draw strength from it :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh it will, Sreesha! That's how I felt when I realized I am resilient too!

Shilpa Garg said...

This gave a lot to chew on. The thing that gets me going is the belief that 'Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end'. And I have experienced it so many times... it does gets ok in the end.

Chicky Kadambari said...

True, Shilpa. It does get ok in the end. That's how life is. We just have to hang in there.

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