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Investing In Personal Resilience and Self Reliance

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img_4871-4.jpgI believe there’s one investment that can never go wrong. It always has return on investment, and is an absolute guaranteed winner. That investment is simply investing in your own self reliance.  Let me explain.

I’ve found there are many people who believe life is happening “to” them. They believe their life is going to be what their life is going to be; that it’s predetermined, and that fate is what dictates their outcomes in life. While this is somewhat of a romantic notion that may be attractive to embrace, it also leads to something that I believe is a great danger, and a great shame:  seeing themselves as a victim; as someone with a rationalized excuse for not having the life they want, because it’s all been decided for them. These people say and think things like:

“I’m destined to be XYZ, so why even try?”

Or

“What if I work hard to become ABC, and then get cancer and die? It would all be a waste, so why even exert the energy?”

My simple definition of resilience is “the ability to bounce back from a challenge.”  I’m an advocate for investing in your own resilience, because challenges–from the small to momentous–are inevitable. A resilient person feels the impact of being hit with a challenge; it’s not that they don’t even register the challenges they face. Rather, they take the impact in stride, quickly regain their balance, and don’t let it knock them off their course for long.

I once heard it said that “the only true reality is self-reliance.” I couldn’t agree more. When you invest in yourself, you become much less exposed to the impacts of the uncertainty of life and the world around you changing. You seize the reins and take a much greater control over your own life.

We can’t change what will happen in the world around us. We can’t stop economic changes from happening in our country, guarantee we will never get sick with a debilitating disease or prevent political changes we disagree with.  But what we can do is build ourselves into people who have the greatest possible chances of prospering despite these things occurring.  We can create resilient selves who:

  • Have a higher purpose that transcends any one particular setback. When you are clear on your mission in life, it’s much easier to keep these changes in perspective and relative to what really matters in your life.
  • Can readily adapt to a changing world. When you are confident in your ability to adjust your way of life, or your business, to evolving circumstances, you fear change less.
  • Know how to see opportunity in challenging times. Change always creates opportunity, and if we have trained ourselves to see it and have the skills to capture that opportunity, we can prosper from change.

The only thing I know for certain is that the world–and my world–will keep changing. Personally, I’ve decided that I will refuse to see myself as a helpless victim to the challenges in my life and in the world around me. Life will not happen “to” me. I will always do whatever I can to make my own circumstances. I will face challenges with the best possible atttude, and see them as opportunities to further strengthen my resilience.

I hope you will join me in that commitment.

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