The Resilience Shield: Update
January 12, 2022
It’s been 6 months since the publication of our book The Resilience Shield. It has been on both Top 10 and bestseller lists, featured in Apple Books of the Month and across many bookseller events. We have also completed many keynotes and workshops to hundreds and hundreds of eager people wanting to understand how they can be more resilient. But the most fulfilling aspect has been the individual feedback on how the book is changing lives and perspectives. It has been incorporated into curriculums, group therapy and is being used by psychiatrists as ‘bibliotherapy’.
One psychiatrist told us that there was no way he could previously tell someone that they must meditate. But now, the musings of three (average) ex SAS guys on the value of meditation and mindfulness had sparked curiosity and gave their clients a ‘permission to experiment’. The other fascinating thing has been the interim findings from The Resilience Survey. It has been conducted over the last 12 months in conjunction with our research partner The University of Western Australia and specifically the incredible Dr Lies Notebaert. With over 8,000 respondents to the survey we can share the following takeaways:
-The Resilience Shield Methodology doesn’t suck! Specifically, mind, body, social and professional aspects do all broadly speaking contribute evenly to resilience.
-The Mind Layer is correctly, the foundational layer. The combination of mindset (outward focus) and meditation/ mindfulness (inward focus) is crucial for other layers.
-In the Body Layer, when considering sleep, diet and exercise… sleep is the most important. Say you have worked a late night and are considering setting an early alarm to go for a run? Our evidence suggests that you should not- instead take a rest day and sleep in to be more resilient.
-Reducing vulnerability through a strong Social Layer is about the small number of deep and meaningful relationships that we have with friends, more than family members. Family have prejudices about who we are and what we can/ should do which negatively affects our outlook (increasing our vulnerability). Find friends who will support your new mad ideas and ideally that will share them!
-Professional layer it is about finding work with purpose … or purpose in your work. Then developing an ability to focus and get into flow state to be the best version of our professional selves. Try removing all distractions and using a focus timer. Also read ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport.
-And finally challenge your own Adaptation Layer, by setting yourself small but meaningful challenges for 2022. Don’t be heroic. What might you try that you never have attempted before? Take a chance. After all, ‘Who Dares Wins’!
In summary, make 2022 the year to build your resilience and combine some layers- for example, find your meaningful physical challenge but do it with friends (Adaptation, Body and Social). Make it suck a bit and add Mind to that!
For me, in early 2022, I’m cycling the length of Tasmania with six of my close friends. That’s my first meaningful challenge for the year- we’ve all been training for what will be around 600km of off-road cycling which has reconnected us. It will be terrible at times, but we will all be miserable together. And that will count for a lot!
Build your shield!