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Resilience and Human Nature

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Notice your discomfort then pause; label the feelings if you can. What are you focusing on? What do you believe about the challenge? What if your assumptions are wrong? Your thoughts and conclusions made in the heat of the moment are not necessarily your best, so the sooner you notice your first instinct and regroup, the sooner you can return your focus to the present, and then decide what you can control, what to do next, and which aspects of the situation will require more time or information before acting.[5]

As the force of gravity reliably holds us fast to Earth, so will the force of our experiences and quieted intuition guide us in our assessments of what is happening now, and how it affects us, our teams, our organizations, the stakeholders, and the vision set to be our guide.

 Air: Breathe to Reclaim Your Brain

When a challenge feels like a threat, the triggered brain jumps to the rescue with the fight, flight, or freeze response. In that state there is no time to think, breathing becomes shallow, the heart rate accelerates, and the sole focus is on survival. In most cases our lives are not at stake and it would be more helpful to all concerned if we were able to reclaim our brain and heart to face the threat energized and with calm, clear, strategic thinking.

Decades of research confirm that mindfulness improves performance, heightens memory and focus, fosters innovation, and enhances likability.[6]   At any time, by turning your attention to your breath, slowing it down, and inhaling and exhaling more deeply, you will slow your heart rate and ignite your ability to reason, notice, and respond intentionally to what is both new and present. There is a reason why airlines instruct caregivers to first put on their own oxygen masks before helping others. It’s all about intentional focus on breathing fresh air in and out before acting.  If you are already breathing, you are halfway there:

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