How to be re­silient

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFESTYLE -

s an en­trepreneur, I know only too well that busi­ness can be chal­leng­ing. But the one thing that’s key to suc­cess? A pos­i­tive mind­set — at work and home.

Your at­ti­tude is piv­otal to lead­ing a life full of ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and in meet­ing in­ter­est­ing peo­ple. Sim­ply, you have to be­lieve that you can al­ways go fur­ther and faster.

Eas­ier said than done, you’re prob­a­bly think­ing. So here are some of the tools and tac­tics I use in my daily life to build the re­silience re­quired to stay pos­i­tive. Not to men­tion jug­gle all that’s ex­pected of me in par­ent­ing, be­ing a good part­ner, friend, men­tor, coach and boss.

I sched­ule my time well in ad­vance and in minute de­tail. I never go to bed without be­ing very clear on my plan of at­tack. I get my stuff to­gether for what­ever it is I’m tack­ling the next day, in the ex­pec­ta­tion that the alarm might not go off. If I don’t think I can achieve this? I change the plan in ad­vance to make it work. Know­ing this, I can sleep well.


This is a buf­fer — a blocked out ap­point­ment with my­self — which I slot into my all-too-re­lent­less sched­ule.

So when each day be­gins and I have a plan, and within that plan I have blocks of grey-time, meet­ings, and things I want to get done. Grey­time is im­por­tant to help me keep up and stay aligned — it’s my space to think and re­view.


I use tex­ting for quick stuff, or ur­gency and to make sure I’m in touch as much as pos­si­ble. But I also com­mu­ni­cate in ad­vance when I’m go­ing to be un­avail­able. I am not a slave to email.

3 4 The plan is all im­por­tant: Give your­self ‘grey time’: Com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively: Some things you can’t pre­dict...:

In­evitably stuff hap­pens — some­times at the very start of the day you spill tooth­paste down your shirt. But hav­ing a plan helps you to be ag­ile, or­gan­ised and have a mind­set that al­lows you to ride above has­sle.

I love the say­ing, ‘It is your choice as to how you feel’. I choose not to be neg­a­tive, not to look back­wards, and to only think about pos­i­tive out­comes and so­lu­tions. I don’t let petty things get me down. This re­silience is life-chang­ing and will pos­i­tively wipe out the silly things that I some­times ob­serve oth­ers wast­ing valu­able time on.

I have tools to cope with neg­a­tiv­ity. I use deep breaths to get through most things. When some­one is rude or puts me down, I never lower my own stan­dards. I also ac­cept crit­i­cism and know how to apologise. I’m al­ways look­ing to learn and im­prove — and this means I need to cope with feed­back.

5 6 When neg­a­tiv­ity calls: Try to make ev­ery­one’s day bet­ter:

My Mum taught me this marvel­lous skill. I gain a huge amount of en­joy­ment and get help from all man­ner of peo­ple be­cause I aim to en­gage, have a gig­gle or learn through show­ing in­ter­est. Taxi driv­ers and ho­tel staff are a font of all knowl­edge in new cities.

I sus­pect I get to places faster, snag bet­ter rooms, seats and sup­port sim­ply be­cause I work hard to be po­lite — even when I am stretched, pushed and, some would say, stressed. I choose to con­sider stress as more of a pos­i­tive than a neg­a­tive. It’s all about mind­set.


This is my most im­por­tant skill. It al­lows me to be


bru­tally di­rect in my de­sire to milk ev­ery­thing out of every op­por­tu­nity.

I feel as though my life is a tick­ing clock. I’ve set my­self an am­bi­tious goal: to be all that I can be. So I con­stantly re­view all the im­por­tant things I want to achieve on my per­son­alised pie chart. Each sec­tion mea­sures my most im­por­tant en­deav­ours and I sense check these reg­u­larly.

I mea­sure out­comes in many ways — but I do think how one “feels” mat­ters a huge amount. I have a sin­gle word that sense checks my balance in life: do I feel con­tent?

How you feel about your­self is so im­por­tant for a pos­i­tive mind­set, es­pe­cially in tougher times. Money also does not buy you health and well­be­ing, so you have to work at these things. Make choices to eat

8 Don’t ig­nore your feel­ings:

healthily and to take ex­er­cise daily. I of­ten walk (very fast) between meet­ings. I get calls done and I stretch my legs at the same time. Learn to get more value out ev­ery­thing you do and re­mem­ber there is no such thing as per­fect — so just be grate­ful for every healthy day.

Take small steps and sod­ding big leaps of faith by fol­low­ing your gut — par­tic­u­larly when it comes to peo­ple.

Time man­age­ment: In­vest in time man­age­ment train­ing. It’s price­less.

Tweak your mind­set: Build your re­silience to change and tough chal­lenges by de­cid­ing to be more con­fi­dent. It will help you get there.

Make lists: Write them, re-write them and pri­ori­tise them. Then en­list help, del­e­gate and aim to be a pro­fes­sion­ally firm and fair. Set bound­aries: Learn to quickly ex­plain your in­ter­ests and en­gage­ments to peo­ple, so you’re not bom­barded with use­less in­for­ma­tion. And when some­thing doesn’t ap­peal, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’!


Re­ward your­self and cel­e­brate your own de­ter­mi­na­tion and brav­ery. Al­ways laugh at your grow­ing au­da­cious be­lief in your­self. You are what you choose to be in life and you can choose to sur­round your­self with peo­ple, tac­tics and meth­ods for cop­ing with tough chal­lenges.

10 Lis­ten to in­stinct:

Es­cape: When you are over­whelmed to re-group, re-en­er­gise and re-ig­nite. It will work won­ders.

Be kind to your­self:


Your at­ti­tude is piv­otal to lead­ing a life full of ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and in meet­ing in­ter­est­ing peo­ple.

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