Sometimes I am asked what THE key to resilience is. I don't believe that it’s that simple, but today I'm going to highlight one thing that I see as being integral to the bigger picture of being able to cope well with whatever life offers up to us. It’s a thing called optimism. It’s having hope for the future; hope that things will get better or you’ll eventually find some equilibrium or peace; the belief that you will always find a way forward, or be able to accept what can't be changed.
So many things in our modern existence have potential to wear down one's sense of optimism. Just watching or reading the news triggers our unconscious survival mechanisms - you can't come away from engaging with news reports without feeling numb, depressed, horrified, unsafe, angry, anxious, fearful or stressed. If you do take in the latest news without overtly feeling any of these things, you are likely so desensitised you are no longer noticing your natural reaction to its content.
Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together, for creating revolutionary movements, for communicating across continents and cultures. And yet as we all know it also carries a painfully sharp double-edged sword and regularly brings out the lowest forms of human behaviour, creates comparison that can eat away at one’s self-worth, and it can smack of everything superficial and narcissistic.