How will you add some lightness to your life this week?

How will you add some lightness to your life this week?

While it is important to approach work with full commitment, being excessively serious can hamper creativity and limit your possibilities. Letting go, laughter and breathing some lightness into the day can prove constructive for you and those around you.

So here is a resilience practice we invite you to cultivate this week:
I take the initiative to add a touch of lightness to my day.

Which success will you celebrate this week?

Which success will you celebrate this week?

While it is very important to work towards reaching a major goal, it is also critical to acknowledge and celebrate steps that lead towards that goal. It boosts the morale and creates positive emotions that are a precious support for everyone.

So here is a resilience practice we invite you to cultivate this week:
I take a moment to celebrate success with your team.

Presence: Stand and Deliver

Presence: Stand and Deliver

I love tennis. The Australian Open is one of my favourites. Despite the late nights, watching these gladiators confront the boundaries of their skill under sustained pressure is thrilling and inspiring. It also highlights the important role of presence.

Whether a fan or not, to watch these women and men master their on-court presence is a lesson we can all learn from. Out there on court, with a screaming crowd or broadcast to millions, a player is under intense scrutiny through sustained pressure.

Consider the self-mastery of Tsitsipas weathering the storm of a brutal, on-form Nadal to come back from two sets down. Barty dealing graciously with defeat. Djokovic smashing his racquet in vicious rage against Zverev and coming back to win. The playfulness of Hsieh. Zverev’s sad eyes and exposing his stomach when things go wrong. The steadiness of Osaka. The power of Williams – and, ahh, the clothing.

We know that our physical signals determine how someone responds to you within 40 milliseconds. Given that emotions activate in around 300 milliseconds and thoughts in around 600 milliseconds, the body rules. What we show physically is based on how we master emotion and thought.

Resilience Podcast: Posture and Presence, Feb 2021

There are eight great lessons to help you face the challenges of leadership, parenting, politics, teams, and the hustle of making progress in a testing world. There is no one right way. This is a creative journey of building the presence you want to be in the world. Test the lessons for your own needs. Adapt and refine.

Discipline your Body. Your body sends the first signals. Are you confident? Are you open and warm? Are you fit for purpose? Are you dominant or submissive? What emotion is your body signaling? The body is tangible and malleable. Much more so than your emotions and thoughts. The body is where we must start.

Recovery

To present in life, recovery the first requirement. Sleep, breathe, stretch and nourish yourself well. Your vehicle must be well serviced. The moment a match completes triggers a structured routine of recovery. Do you believe you are physically prepared for the day?

Dress right

Unlike other creatures, we adorn ourselves with clothing, gels, jewellery and hairstyles. Creative presentation is great. Are you presenting like a male peacock? What is the signal that you want to send to those you engage with?

Walk and Stand with Purpose

A limp in an antelope is an attack opportunity for a predator. Walk tall, directly, and maintain a spring in your legs. Keep your shoulders open and let your arms swing naturally. Stand with your feet apart, weight on the balls of your feet, balanced and ready to move. Do you have a video or picture of your gait?

Lengthen the Back of your Neck

Keep your spine light and long. This reduces the strain on your neck massively. Well balanced shoulders and neck make you look alert, ready, open and confident. When your shoulders hunch and your head bows forward (i-posture), you look beaten. The signal goes both inwards to your own hormonal status (testosterone down and cortisol up), and out to the impression others receive.

Never Expose your Stomach

We are a predator species. Exposing the belly is the strongest submission pose a predator can display. Watch Zverev. He really must stop this habit. Too much exposed flesh is a distraction at best. At worst, it derails your purpose.

Shut your Mouth

Only open your mouth to speak and in extreme exercise. Breathing through the nose is much better for health and performance. Leaving your jaw slack and hanging has no benefit. Deliberately keep your lips sealed, tongue soft and slow your breathing. This will also help you to listen better.

Restrain Emotional Outbursts

Smashing a racquet, swearing or angry outbursts might have been OK in McEnroe’s time. We are past it now. Destructive emotions must be checked and expressed with respect and skill. While rage appears to excite a part of the population (Kyrios vs. Thiem), we will advance faster when we learn to express the better angels of our nature – respect, tolerance and kindness.

Practise like Crazy

Just as you cannot pick up a racquet for a masterful forehand without years of practice, so you will need to practice this stuff.

Suggestions:

  1. Watch different postural styles in contexts that you admire
  2. Review or record photos and videos of yourself in action
  3. See an experienced physiotherapist for a muscle balance assessment
  4. Develop a daily stretch and core strength routine
  5. Mitigate sleep deprivation, overload and hyperventilation
  6. Walk tall, sit up and rest well
The 2020 Bounce and Recovery Plan

The 2020 Bounce and Recovery Plan

We are concluding a testing year. Over and above the risks of digitalisation, polarised politics, environmental tipping points, and turbulent markets, Covid-19 is testing our communities, businesses, governments and economies.

As we come to the end of this year, our team recommends that you think carefully about what you need to bounce and recover. Most important, please be deliberate in the execution of your plan. We share some practical suggestions here to help you rejuvenate and re-engage for a constructive 2021.

The five horsemen of apocalypse according to Ian Morris are disease, mass migration, conflict, state failure, and climate change. These have, according to Morris, always been the cluster of factors that have disrupted humanity over the past 12,000 years. All five are at full gallop.

Many are afraid (anxiety), sad (depression) or mad (angry). Under the covers, we are exhausted by the reality of disease, lock-down, job loss, political chaos, and disasters relentlessly broadcast by media engines.

The end of year break is coming, and we need it more than ever. Will you press hard to the bitter end? Will you continue to fidget with your devices and media feeds? Will you splurge on food and alcohol? Will you collapse into illness as the rest allows your defences to drop? Will family conflict erupt?

Here is a plan of action to restore your resilience. To rest. To disengage. To recover. To bounce. To sleep. To restore health. To reconnect with people you love. We strongly recommend a disciplined approach to year end.

  1. Plan your holiday now
  2. Identify what you need to bounce and recover
  3. Create quiet time for rest, sleep and nature
  4. Schedule quality time with those you love
  5. Get out of your home office
  6. Get close to nature
  7. Automate your “not available” messages
  8. Switch off your devices
  9. Allocate a short burst of “work time” each day
  10. Disconnect from the news
  11. Commit to three daily recovery practices

We all wish you a wonderful end of year break and time with your loved ones. Bounce, Grow, Connect and rediscover your Flow.

10 Tips for Rest, Recovery and Rejuvenation

10 Tips for Rest, Recovery and Rejuvenation

Written by 

The Season for Stillness

We tumble to the end of another warp-speed year. We spin through our tasks and grasp at floods of information.

We press too hard, too fast and for too long. Reservoirs are sucked dry. Self-awareness fades. Self-regulation is impaired. Your health and your relationships are at risk.

It is time to slow down, repair, rejuvenate and reconnect with what matters.

In a world of optimisation, ambition, pride and duty, we push hard on multiple fronts. The rest, recovery and rejuvenation cycle is squeezed out between ever shorter bursts of dopamine. We are child-like in our impulsive tapping, swiping, checking, buying, rushing, feeding… compelled to chase the next hit.

As I come to the end of 2019, I feel battered. My mind is a little flat. Attention is fragile. Relationships are edgy. I know I need a good break. I am struggling to disconnect, calm my hypervigilance, and allow the natural cycle of recovery. I sense it in our family, friends and colleagues.

Rest, recovery and rejuvenation (R3) is the next competitive edge. Ironic!

My end of year message it to give rest, recovery and rejuvenation your full attention.

At a cellular level, the R3 cycle is vital to repair and rejuvenation. It is the key to longevity and sits at the biochemical core of fasting, sleep quality, intense activity, meditation, and cold water baths. It is a promising solution that supports this process of slowing, cleaning and repairing hard working cells.

The R3 cycle is key to musculoskeletal strength and physical wellbeing. Intimacy, touch and dreaming (REM) sleep stimulate the R3 cycle for emotional wellbeing. The default network is the R3 cycle for cognition allowing us to focus, engage and refresh our minds.

Our end-of-year pause is an opportunity to capture the R3 cycle for life and family. Please make an effort to allow for adequate rest, recovery and rejuvenation as your year comes to an end. Engage your family in this process so that you may reconnect in more intimate ways.

Share what works well for you.

OPTIMISM

OPTIMISM

Research Highlight: Optimism is a super skill

95% of the most successful 10% of people scored “I think and communicate with optimism” with ‘very often’ or ‘nearly always’ (in a sample of 21,000).

The human mind is Velcro for the negative. Based on a high threat environment, a negative and threatening explanation might have been advantageous. Today, pessimism disables you.

Only 9% of the least resilient people score optimism with ‘very often’ or ‘nearly always’.

Question: How can I explain this adversity in one enabling sentence?

Condition: Notice but reject the easy negative self-talk

Discipline: Think and express yourself with positive language

Caution: Our times are testing. This will take courage.

What you can do right now?

  1. Ask someone close if you are optimistic or pessimistic. Explore an example
  2. Watch the content of your thoughts. Notice the words you choose to make sense of a situation. For example: “This always happens to me”
  3. Explore different ways to express the situation. For example: “What could I do differently” Notice the shift from blame to responsibility.
  4. Be alert for positive news.  Some suggest that we aim to express at least three positive observations for every complaint.

In the background:

  • Fatigue, isolation and distress will reduce optimism
  • Sleep well, be social, relax and play
  • Nurture your positive emotions – joy, gratitude, appreciation, hope, kindness

Note: With the current social instability, political malaise and climate risk, the value and importance of optimism will increase. It is well proven that optimism can be learned and has wide ranging personal and economic benefits. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is proven an effective solution to depression. We use the term situational agility to describe the healthy and adaptive use of the optimism in key situations.

Own your joy!