Senior Scene for October 12, 2015


Last week I promised to provide some additional insight and wisdom from Dick O’Brien that should provide my readers with “Personal Resiliency in Challenging Times”. So here we go, more from the “World according to Dick”.

Resiliency is described as your capacity to recover from the difficult situations in life. It is the tendency to be buoyant, recoil, and spring back.  In all honesty, there is no age or stage in life where we are not required to be resilient.  It could be that situation when we were 12 years old and you were the only one in the entire class who was not allowed to attend a school dance, or a life shattering experience such as losing a spouse after 50 years of wedded bliss.  At the time, either situation was equally devastating.  While the workshop I attended was focused on the workplace, the principles that we were provided with can be applicable to life in general and the relationships and situations we encounter as we wander down the path of life.

  • Learn to live with uncertainty: security, stability and predictability are things of the past. As we age, we become far too aware of how uncertainty can affect everything we do. One can never be sure of what will transpire today, tomorrow or next week.
  • Beware of the victim mentality: it is an emotional trap that depletes performance and activities. While performance is not a term we typically apply to our daily routine, it is still applicable if you apply it to your ability to rise each morning with energy, enthusiasm and a plan for the day.
  • Learn to manage your own morale: refuse to commiserate and accept ownership for your own morale. Everyone has issues in life but we cannot allow their attitude to reduce us to the depths of their misery. Let a positive attitude prevail regardless of circumstances.
  • Optimize and neutralize the impact of change: develop and maintain the capacity to be change hardy. Again, as we age, change is an inevitable component of life. Whether it is your favourite grocery store closing or having to sell your house and downsize, it is change and you need to seize the opportunity to minimize the perceived negative effects of the change and emphasize the prospects of a new and interesting beginning.
  • Be mindful of your own attitudes and impact on others: sometimes our own view of life is the real problem and other people can see this.
  • Develop the capacity for effective self counsel: become self encouraging and monitor your own self-talk. Recognize that our ability to perform and contribute may diminish as we age, but if you become your own personal cheerleader, you will soon realize that you are still a very worthy and valued person.
  • Practice effective self care: maintain energy, spirit and vitality through reasonable health practices.
  • Make a contribution regardless of the circumstances: circumstances do not determine a person, they reveal them. Your contribution may not be as significant as you would like, but it certainly exhibits your generosity, willingness, and commitment.
  • Finally, take a stand on your principles and deliver it with grace and dignity: become the change you want to see in your life and your lifestyle.