You know those people who really energize you when you spend time around them? The ones who are easy to be around and even easier to talk to. The ones who make you feel comfortable being exactly who you are but who also make you want to be even better. I have an idea of what exactly their “it” factor is and you have it too.
In life, the more I feel dialed in, the easier it is to see who has done the work… the real work… the soul work… the hard work. And if we look back at the people who were trailblazers, their resilience is obviously their “it” factor. When I mention Maya Angelou, you and I both know she did the work. She was a bright light, yet her presence challenged us all to be better. Our heroes, our mentors, leaders who have also changed the world – the more resilient they are, the more they stand out. It’s almost as if we can see their light shining a little brighter.
Mahatma Gandhi led his people to freedom on a philosophy of nonviolence. We know, without a doubt, he did the soul work. In fact, on that note, we also know that religions around the world often center on a spiritual figure who was capable of overcoming so much in order to create a better world for the collective. Buddha taught people that if they found enlightenment within, they were capable of overcoming all external circumstances while simultaneously treating all living things with equal respect. Throughout the history of human beings, we’ve passed down stories of triumph when all of the odds leaned towards failure. And more than that, stories of failure, followed by amazing triumph. This is resilience in action.
What we can see as a clear pattern throughout history is that when humans commit to grounding themselves, settling their spirit, and finding clarity on their direction, the impossible becomes possible. When we commit to a higher cause or way of life, the Universe often shows up and supports our efforts.
In some ways, the shutdown forced us all to soak up a little more stillness than we were used to and when I was paying attention, I could easily see how this brightened up and motivated the people around me. That down time, that slower way of life, while forcing us to live differently, also gave us all the opportunity to build our resilience and to lean into a different way of life. In the midst of a pandemic and global shutdown, Americans were launching new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade. This economical resilience has allowed us to reshape the business ecosystem, all with our backs against the wall.
You know those old blooper reels from Kids Say the Darndest Things? Where the kids, wiggling in their chairs and kicking the crossbars, straight-faced tell a host that their goal in life is world peace? At the age of 5, 6, 7… these ideas are ingrained in us and our busy reality causes us to lose touch with them.
It’s Always An Inside Job
Don’t come for me with the torches and the picket signs… but Christmas and New Years are right around the corner. And this is the season for all things “new me”. A new diet, a new gym, a new daily schedule, a new wake up time, a new pledge to eat at home more or have less caffeine.
I LOVE that time of year. I LOVE watching people find the fire inside and kick their own -ahem- into gear. What I don’t love is the aftermath. I don’t love watching the goals fade, the excitement flicker out, and the dreams get lost in the day-to-day… again. And I have a theory about this whole thing. Every single time we do the yardwork without doing the housekeeping, things are either temporary, or they fall apart. What I mean is this: when we skip the inside work and jump to the outside work, just like the next season that will undoubtedly brown our annuals, the work is temporary.
We can see the most resilient, conscious people with more clarity, we hear them with more love in our hearts.
Take this with you: We look outside of ourselves for ways to find peace and to grow when the work is actually (always) an inside job. If we look at the people, throughout history, who have changed the world for the better, we can see their “it” factor and it’s a light shining from the inside out. These trailblazers come equipped with a similar message, love yourself and love others, and don’t give up on what you believe in. Their resilience, their ability to overcome, is their light and now that I’ve mentioned this, it’ll be hard for you not to notice.
Learning to sit in stillness, even when there is great noise, and ground ourselves creates space for any external growth we want to pursue. If we start on the inside, our efforts also cover the outside.
If you’re ready to lean into your “IT” factor, and let your resilience light shine, it’s important to adopt a mind over matter approach to life. In my newest book Change Proof, I present 3 simple steps when facing adversity – Pause, Ask, Choose. And the point of building this process into your life is to be intentional in your mind so your actions follow suit. So, commit 5-minutes a day to yourself – to your resilience. It’s not about flipping your whole life upside down. It’s about taking small, intentional steps towards something better. Today, my 5-minute commitment to you is that I will take a walk and I will use my time walking to think only positive thoughts about myself. You too? Let’s become Change Proof together. If you follow through and want to brag (YOU SHOULD!!) – tag me on Instagram @AdamdMarkel and don’t forget to use the hashtag #changeproof.