We’re not necessarily born being resilient. However, we can train ourselves to be more agile, more flexible and more able to adjust to all of the changes we’re constantly experiencing. In this solocast, Adam Markel takes on the topic of resilience and how it’s possible to become a picture of resilience by cultivating certain traits. After all, building resilience is critical to being able to go the distance, both personally and professionally.
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Being The Picture Of Resilience
You have me in the seat. I’m going to do a solocast for a little while here. I’ve got a couple of things in my mind. I figured why not sit down and share them. In fact, my beautiful beloved wife, Randi, was reminding me that some wonderful things that are going on in our lives are things that are going on in a lot of people’s lives, the things that were we’re working on. There’s never a bad time to share those things and this is the perfect moment. I am grateful as I am more and more noticing my gratitude because I’m giving myself some space these days to feel gratitude and that may not sound profound. As I’m saying it, I realize how important that is that there is space made in the busyness of daily life. We don’t always have space even to feel ourselves being and what could we be more grateful for then to be, it’s the essence of everything. Without that, we do not exist. I am grateful as I sit here. I’m feeling grateful for my body, my health and well-being. We talk a lot these days. I speak on stages as I’m privileged to be able to do around the world on the topic of resilience. Often, we speak about how we create resilience and that resilience isn’t something we’re necessarily born with. Although some people may think that the research bears quite differently on that topic that we are able to learn resilience as we grow.
Our experiences are constantly giving us the opportunity to change that our brain is the computer if you will. It’s the hub. It’s the tower, the air traffic controller of our beings. Our brains unlike what we may have been taught when we were younger that old dogs couldn’t learn new tricks or old brains can’t change. That’s nonsense. All the research is clear on this that neuroplasticity is the word that describes how our brains continue to evolve and change especially when we’re aware of it. We are giving our brains time to adapt and be adaptive to new information, to new experiences. That’s part of how we remain able to change that. We can train ourselves to be more agile and more flexible and more able to adjust to the changing conditions of life and the experiences in our business and in our personal lives. These are all opportunities for us to continue the evolution of our brain, to train our brains, in other words, to make use of the things that are happening and to be able to then respond to them as opposed to being in a more constant state of reactions.
Space is wonderful because when we have space between stimulus, between things that are happening in our experience and what we do about them or how we interact with them, that space becomes creative. Then we’re moving from reaction to response. Why that matters is that in that interval, that space between what would be our reaction to something and a more thoughtful approach to it. That space becomes a way for us to make better decisions. It allows us to be more focused and to show up in a way that we don’t regret. I don’t know how else to put it.
A lot of times, our reactions lead to guilt. They lead to going back and wishing we could redo things that we could change how things went, how were we involved in the decisions we made? Where could we have done better? Universally, we make better decisions when we have more time to think and to create a clear plan for how to respond. That could be a breath. When I think of what space looks like, space doesn’t have to be, “I need a day, I need a week or even an hour necessarily.” Sometimes it’s the space of a mindful breath, a mindful moment that can be a game-changer. Whether we’ve written something to somebody or responded verbally or done something else, taken action in reaction mode or whether we’re in a mindful moment, in a breath or longer, we’re guided to a different type of response. That makes all the difference in the world in our results. I’m fascinated as you can tell with how the brain is able to change. How it is that we can create new neuropathways and where brain science and brain science research has taken us in understanding the value of mindfulness in this practice of meditation, of things that have been part of the spiritual world, more particularly Buddhist practices and other metaphysical practices that have been sitting in the arena and the area in the silo even of what we call spiritual.
Where those things overlap in other areas of our lives that we have segregated or kept siloed as apart from that like a business and being an entrepreneur or performance and innovation. Things that are in that realm that you wouldn’t think are directly correlated and related to things that we would otherwise think of as spiritual, religious or ritual in nature. Resilience is a topic that’s important these days because we want to go the distance. The distance to me has no end. I love to say I want to live to be 120. I don’t even want to put a cap on it. It would be a great number, but 150 even better. If my brain and my body and all those things were constantly regenerating, why wouldn’t it be possible? Is it possible? Here’s a question for all of us, for the brain to regenerate the cells of our body to the point where we stop aging, we even get younger. What’s to say that’s not possible? The brain is the supercomputer of supercomputers. There’s no reason why, based on everything that I’m reading, thinking and feeling, that our brains couldn’t in fact accomplish that task. First and foremost, if we thought it was possible and secondly if we were treating our brains in ways that allowed that resource, that supercomputer to do what it’s capable of doing. We have no outer limit to what the brain might be able to create. I put it out there as a question.
I was inspired by this conversation. Randi and I were out with some friends at an incredible club. The conversation in my head is one where my daughter says, “Why would you say something’s incredible?” We use that term all the time. It’s a language. We talk about being able to pivot in our language. I’m looking at that word and thinking to myself, “Why would I say something’s not credible, incredible?” Like something is unbelievable. We routinely say that’s unbelievable, yet it’s totally believable. It’s credible. We were out at a show to see a guy that I was first introduced to. I was about nineteen years old in college. I was on the swimming team and my swimming coach had a great taste in music. He mentioned this guy and I was listening to music back then and thinking, “I’ve never heard anything quite like this.” I hadn’t been trained in blues music, a lot of music education growing up from my dad. John Mayall was not somebody that my dad was listening to at the time. I had no understanding of his music until my college swimming coach introduced The Turning Point. It’s an incredible album, breathtakingly different, innovative, fusing jazz, blues and rock.We make better decisions when we have more time to think and to create a clear plan for how to respond. Click To Tweet
It was no wonder that John Mayall was also a guy that played with Eric Clapton in a project called the Bluesbreakers. Some people said that the Bluesbreakers album with Eric Clapton and John Mayall is one of the greatest, if not the greatest blues album that ever created. I’ve listened to enough variety of music to be able to make that statement but I’ll say that John Mayall rocks. He’s tearing it up at age 86. We went out to see him play at the Belly Up and this man is 86 years young. He’s standing behind the keyboard, he stood for the entire show with his band behind him, and the most rad group of musicians. He collects a group of musicians behind him, a bassist, drummer and ridiculously tearing it up to lead guitarist. This woman had a set of pipes, he was singing backup and also did a number of songs on her own. On top of that, he was shredding this Gibson and this beautiful old guitar. He stood for the entire show. He played the keyboards. He played his own electric guitar in taking a few licks in the lead and playing the harp.
This guy was hands-on on the keyboard, harp in his mouth and the lungs at 86 to control that harmonica. The sounds that he was generating in his song as well. He’s taking and hooping it up, smiling and laughing with his crew. It was a picture of resilience. That’s what Randi said to me, “Look at him. Take a picture of that man. It’s a picture of resilience.” I wanted to get on this episode as a tribute to the whole concept that we can create resilience on-going in our lives. At any age, you can model and be a picture of resilience that our brains are neuroplastic to our intentions that if we want to get younger, we can get younger. We want to stop that process of aging so that we can continue the projects that we’re passionate about in life, whether they’re personal projects or they’re entrepreneurial or something. We have the capacity.
We have the ability to train, retrain and utilize our brains to get after those things at any age. It is never too late. John Mayall is the testament to that. I can only imagine the life that he is at through the ’60s and ’70s to be standing and to be alive is one thing, but to be doing what he’s doing on stage. By the way, I say this, it was a packed house. There wasn’t any room, this man is filling that space. He was moving better and singing better and had better energy than a lot of the people that were sitting. People were sitting, a little bit of an older crowd. There were some younger folks in there too, but folks at the seat and others are standing and they weren’t nearly as spry as this 86-year-old blues icon. Check Mr. John Mayall out, go on YouTube and find some of his music. If you can go locate that epic album, The Turning Point, or the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, then you will be transformed and transfixed.
I’m happy to be in the seat, going to sign off from here by reminding us all how blessed we are to be here and to have this moment together and to be alive and breathing. As we know, it’s true that at this moment as we’re taking this breath, doing whatever it is that we’re up to now, there are people taking their last breath at this moment as well. Our hearts are with them and we can acknowledge how sacred and special this moment is. That’s something to appreciate. I appreciate all of you. I appreciate you for being loyal to the show and you’ve given us feedback.
We love the fact that you’re still engaged in getting value out of it. We’d love to know more of what you think and more of what you’d love to see, hear and experience through this show. I wish you the best of days, the best of lives. I hope you love your life more than anything else. I hope you wake up in the morning, you put your feet on the floor, you feel gratitude and you love your life, you love life. If you’re not willing to love your life right this moment, being grateful for your life and appreciating life itself. All those things are possible. I’ll say ciao for now. Have a beautiful rest of the day, evening, afternoon, wherever you are. Thank you.