• Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David G. Berube
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing
In the Guideposts booklet, "Resiliency," author Ken Sampson offers 31 ways to build resilience.  Resilience, as you know, is the ability to bounce back.  It's about gaining and maintaining the strength, coping skills, and resources to continue a healthy, forward moving life.  Here are some threads from Chaplain Sampson's thoughts -

Spend time with people who lift you up.  Think about people you've spent time with this past month.  Who do you look forward to talking with or seeing again soon?  Who do you hope will lose your number?  The answers probably have to do with whether people provide you energy or drain it.  It enriches and energizes us to spend time with folks who raise our spirits, increase our knowledge and capabilities, or inspire our sense of adventure, humor, or fun.  Spending time with people who lift us up makes us stronger and healthier.

Lift others up.  Think about last month's contacts again.  Who is looking forward to the next time they see or hear from you?  How did you provide or drain energy in those interactions?  Life is full of events, circumstances, and tasks that tempt us to give up happiness, joy, and enthusiasm.  We often can't change life's negative or unexciting parts, but we can choose to seek a positive path through them.  When we choose joy and good humor, we become people who build up others (and they return our calls more quickly).  Being uplifting helps make others stronger and healthier.

Embrace new opportunities.  Winston Churchill said that pessimists find difficulty in opportunity and optimists find opportunities in difficulty.  Our lives are enriched when we seek positive places and people that provide us opportunities for growth, development, and excitement.  Realistic optimism honestly recognizes difficulty but refuses to submit to it.  Realistic optimism uses opportunities to overcome difficulties and provide improvement to some part of the world.   Embracing new opportunities helps us develop resources and coping skills in life, for ourselves and others.

Remain calm as a leader and follower.  A friend shared this description of poor leadership: "When in danger or in doubt, run in circles; scream and shout."  You can probably think of more than one time when you saw that played out in leaders (and followers).  It's not pretty.  But, life evolves in a more manageable way (even when it's difficult) as we practice leadership and followership that demonstrates a "Keep calm and carry on" orientation.  Remaining calm lets us focus on controlling and accomplishing what we can while not being swept away by what is beyond our control.   Calm control of ourselves helps us surf whatever chaos surrounds us.  Calmness is a confident and productive approach to life that helps our own state of being, our ability to handle necessary tasks, and our mission to care for those who lead or follow us.