The Olympics have been the focus of many of our lives over the last two weeks and there will be that “what do we do now” feeling when they finish. This incredible event began in 776BC in Olympia and was dedicated to the Olympian Gods. The Olympics is always full of outstanding success and distraught heartbreaking stories of failure. In effect, the Olympic Games are a metaphor for life, in that we can have these wonderful highs and devastating lows. The question is what can keep us going when times are tough?
Resilience may be one of the most important qualities that we can develop and nurture. Resilience is what makes an Olympic athlete deal with a loss or setback and come back to give it all they’ve got in the next event, just like Herman Maier. Whether you’re involved in sport, the corporate world, education or health, there will be days where you think it can’t get any worse. Too often, our perception is that these difficult days outnumber the good, and we start on a steady spiral downwards into misery and feeling sorry for ourselves. We forget just how much we have to be thankful for.
One fantastic mechanism to maintain an objective view is to monitor ourselves on a daily basis. This monitoring may be systematic where we track certain physiological variables such as sleep, levels of physical activity, fatigue levels and psychological status. Or it could be as simple as keeping a daily journal, recording your day. By keeping track of your life, you will often identify that life is not all that bad, and if it is, you can seek answers.
Incorporating strategies into our life to manage ourselves when we are not feeling very positive can make a real difference. It just seems that in these times, when we have so much and want for very little, we don’t have the most important things in life such as joy and happiness. In my experience, much of our unhappiness comes from the workplace. But is it the workplace or is it you? It is easier to change yourself than to change the workplace, so to deal with those difficult times focus on the following:
1. Sleep – make sure that you are getting sufficient quantity and quality of sleep.
2. Physical Activity – ensure you are physically active every day, even if it’s a simple 20 minute walk, as any increase will be positive.
3. Have a morning routine – start the day with meditation or simply taking time out for you.
4. Keep a daily journal.
5. Be the person you would like to meet.
By implementing some simple strategies like these, you can have a positive effect on your outlook, build your resilience and be better prepared to face life’s challenges.