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Build Your Resilience Through Vision and Purpose

We are all resilient beings having come through many challenges in our lives – career, family, illness, death and most recently a pandemic! The information I shared in last month’s presentation centered around the difference between ‘resilience during a stressful situation’ and ‘building next-level resilience needed to raise the bar’.

I offered 4 factors for this next-level resilience:

No. 1: ADOPT A VISION Vision is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination and wisdom, regardless of the limitations of today.

I chose 3 black women as an example of adopting a Vision far greater than anything they had ever imagined on their own. Katherine JohnsonDorothy Vaughan and  Mary Jackson. All 3 women worked for NASA during the height of the cold war. These ‘soldiers’ were brilliant women that picked up pencil and chalk, working long hours while being wives and mothers. The Vision was that NASA was going to put a man on the moon. That Vision was bigger than the fact that America was still fighting segregation, the math to tackle space flight had yet to be created, and technology meant celebrating having a computer that fit into a single room! They had to ‘look beyond’ the limitations of the day and buy into a nation’s vision to get America their ‘Moon Shot’

What is your ‘Moon Shot’? The reason Vison is key to resilience is that when you get knocked down, and you will, a Vision that is massive, is the hot air balloon that will lift you back up.

No 2: A HIGHER PURPOSE: We know what Purpose means and how important it is to get clear on our purpose, but HOW you define Purpose is critical. Gary Zukav explains this as the difference between “I want to be a millionaire and help people” as opposed to “I want to help people and be a millionaire”. When altruism and philanthropy define your purpose, it will give you courage and strength to stay the course. 

The soldier I chose is Canadian Ex-special forces officer David Lavery who now owns a business ‘Raven Rae consulting’ that provides risk management in places like Kabul This summer we saw the Taliban take over Afghanistan forcing thousands to abandon their homes and flee for safety. Lavery was given a list of 1200 people to extract whose lives were in danger because they had supported western forces against the Taliban. He and his family were also in grave danger and he could have fled. But he kept going because his purpose wasn’t just the money. He literally had people’s lives in his hands.

Purpose in the context of resilience, must be about more than yourself. It must be about serving a greater need. Because when your purpose is bigger than yourself, you will no longer play it small. You will stand in your GREATNESS.

No 3: BE A MAVERICK!: Now when you are standing in your greatness, guess what? You are DIFFERENT! Being different is something I have known all my life. As an Anglo-Indian Immigrant Canadian married into white privilege & living in the bloody boonies, at 40 I finally decided to let go of wanting to ‘fit in’. I began to understand that ‘not fitting-in’ just might be a gift because you cannot stand in your ‘greatness’ and still ‘fit in’ with a crowd.

The Canadian World War 2 veteran I chose is Margaret Cooper.  Margaret worked with a team responsible for helping to sink Germans submarines, by decoding messages using the Enigma machine. Among the 2 million women that supported the war efforts, Margaret was one of a small, elite group of women who were part of this highly secretive drama of espionage & intrigue. She was different from the men and women of her time and no one knew it!

We don’t have to all wear a dress made of meat to stand out. We can be different in our own ways, and we can be quiet and humble about it at the same time. How are you different from your family, from the friends, from the people in your circles? What part about being different do you stand tall and embrace?

NO. 4 TRUST IN PRESENCE: So, now that you are visionary, standing in your greatness embracing all that is different about you, what supports you??? I like to call this higher power PRESENCE. We are celestial beings having a human experience. We are energy & soul occupying a heart, mind & body. There is a higher power that abides in us, holds us, and guides us. It is God, the metaphysical, the cosmos, the law of attraction! Whatever you call it, we are NEVER ALONE!

This next World War II veteran, Corporal Desmond Doss never picked up a gun and was the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. Desmond’s belief in the Bible and God was absolute. In May 1945, the Japanese soldiers were decimating his company when they attempted to take Hacksaw Ridge and they were ordered to retreat. Retreat meant climbing back down the 400 foot high cliff they had just ascended on nets. But Desmond did not retreat. Instead, he stayed on top all night, dodging bullets and rescuing 75 wounded soldiers belaying them over the cliff one at a time. He said the line that kept him going was “Lord, help me SAVE one more”.

How do you commune and connect with the ‘Higher Power’? What holds you in a state of higher consciousness being intensely present and at the same time connected? Find that space and hold onto it because the world needs you to be your most resilient.

Please book a complimentary call with me and let us together go deeper into these questions.

Arlene is a Professional Coach with focus on transitions in life, relationships & career.  Her sense of humour and easy laughter are the strengths she brings to balance the sometimes-heavy dialogue that coaching brings.  As an immigrant Canadian, Arlene's life experiences have played a major role in shaping who she is today.  Arlene's professional career has taken her from unloading trucks at Woolco to a career as a buyer & project manager in the Import Industry. After taking a step back from the stress, long work hours and international travel to raise her two gifts, Ella and Scott, she retrained at the Adler Graduate School of Psychology. Her dialogues create a deeper level of awareness and self trust to ensure progress. Vision and Legacy are her focal points of coaching. She invites every soul to stand, see the big picture and know that when we look beyond ourselves, we can find harmony, ease and most importantly, the will to help each other.