Resilient Leadership emerged as the synthesis of my transformation journey. It is built on three core principles that have a deep transformative impact on our mental, physical and emotional states. Under each of these pillars, there are essential practices that can radically shift how we think, what we do and how we show up in business and life.
Mindset Mastery — We Create Our Reality
- During our entire education, we are taught to use our mind as an analytical and creative tool, but we never really learn how our mind works. In essence, the brain/mind is a black box that relies on sensory input and past experience to make sense of what is going on outside. With that information, it creates the best predicted ‘reality’ in our heads that it assumes to be a faithful representation of what reality is. It is not. It is constructed in relation to our belief systems, past knowledge and experience. Anil Seth, a neuroscientist from Sussex University, elegantly explains how we are living a controlled hallucination in this TED talk.
- We have the power to alter the reference points that the brain uses to make sense of the external ‘reality’. By tapping into this, I was able to turn cold into warm on Mt. Sniezka, flip the closure of Future Lighthouse from ‘failure’ to ‘success’ and summit Kilimanjaro in record time with no AMS symptoms.
- Consciously crafting the right mindset and belief systems instantly creates a reality that is more aligned with your goals and objectives. In the end, if you can see it in your mind with full conviction, you can make it happen. It’s how the brain works.
Body Power — Our Body is How we Experience Life
- There is a tendency to think of our bodies as the vehicle our brain rides in as we go about our everyday activities. It’s important to keep it in good shape, have it look good and make sure you do the required checkups to keep running smoothly. But that misses the key point.
- The overwhelming majority of our neural function is used to keep everything in our bodies working as best as possible; from our cells, to our organs, to our heartbeat and blood flow. This is all mostly subconscious yet it impacts our mental state and how we see the world. If you are hungry, you might be grumpy and less tolerant of a co-worker’s idea… not because the idea is bad, but because you are hungry.
- Your body state shapes your reality and how you experience life. You just might not really notice it. What you eat, how you breathe, how you sleep, how you exercise and how you stress will directly impact your creativity, energy, productivity, happiness, relationships, perceptions of opportunity, etc.
- Instead of seeing the body as your ride through life, see it as THE tool with which to experience life to its fullest. This is the moment where you start to unlock its true power. When you work the body, you work your mind and your emotional state. As the three come together, increased accomplishments and fulfillment become a daily reality. How you feel in your body is how you will feel in life.
- The added bonus here is that the more you take care of your body, the more your body will take care of you in the future. The latest genetic research is already arguing that age should be considered more of a ‘disease’ than a fact of life. Currently, our fitness, nutrition habits and routines are the greatest source of health and vitality now and in the future.
Emotional Wisdom — Feeling is Everything
- In the end, what matters most is not what you do, but how you feel about what you did… good or bad. In essence, it is your emotions and emotional states that give meaning and quality to everything you experience. In general, we all see emotions and feeling states as reactions to things happening around us. You meet up with an old friend and you feel joy. A loved one passes and you feel sorrow. A partner betrays you, you feel rage. You summit a mountain half-naked and you feel triumph. It seems that emotions are the consequences of things that happen to us, but they are not.
- The latest neuroscience has debunked this understanding of emotions. Emotions are not reactions to the things we experience; they are lightning-fast projections onto the experiences we are living. This is a very hard concept to grasp, especially since emotional states emerge almost instantaneously. Lisa Feldman Barrett, in her book How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain does an outstanding job of explaining how the brain constructs and projects emotions in real time. It turns out that our brain not only constructs reality, it also creates and projects our emotional state onto what we are experiencing (If you don’t want to read the book, at least watch her cinematic lecture).
- Embracing this concept is tremendously empowering. You are not a victim OF your emotions, you are THE creator of them. Gaining mastery over your nervous system and emotional states can perhaps be one of the most liberating skills you can develop in life. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist, psychologist and Holocaust survivor summed it up perfectly, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space, is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and our freedom.”
- Emotions and feelings are what give richness and meaning to your life experience. If you can consciously create the emotional states that you desire in life, anything is possible.
The main lesson from my transformation journey is that we are truly masters of our fate. Life happens for us, not to us.
Building Mindset Mastery, Body Power and Emotional Wisdom, in an integrated fashion, has been the ONE thing that has made my transformation journey so successful. I learned that we have everything we need inside, it’s just a matter of waking up these innate skills that are waiting there to be harnessed.
It’s our nature.
It’s how we are built and wired.
It’s how we are meant to be.