Sunday, September 23, 2012

Resilience and Existentialism

"A person's character is their destiny."

Essentially, character is about what's under the surface, the principles and values lived by day in, day out.  Most would say they believe in common values such as freedom, justice, truth, peace, love and acceptance but as we live in a cause and effect world, mere belief is not enough.

"Action is character."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
A value is not a value unless you're willing to pay a price to uphold it - and in most cases the price paid will be at a loss of some beneficial outcome to yourself.  So what happens when we do things that compromise our values?  Even if no one ever finds out, you will always know.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."  Martin Luther King Jnr. 

We tell this story about who we are, based on what we've done.  This story about ourselves lives in the past and helps us to construct our story about who we are, our place in the world and how the world works.  We carry these stories with us wherever we go and these stories can either strengthen and nurture us or they can become unwanted baggage, weighing us down.

 Resilience is about building a strong foundation and then acting with integrity, aligning being and doing.  An internally self sustaining system is one which is internally supportive.  In an existential sense this means recognising the benefits of doing in a way that supports your intended state of being.

"Excellence is not an act but a habit"

So first clarify your vision and values and then, put them into practice.  Set out your intention on being in the morning and at the end of the day, reflect on how it went.  Daily practice becomes a weekly routine that soon becomes a supportive internal story - remember you can't escape yourself so even better if your internal story is self supportive, promoting resilience.

So: resilience, existentialism and self mastery - recognise that we all exist in these three domains and in each domain there is work required to establish and then maintain a sustainable system for being.

- More wisdom here  more images here

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