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Be Resilient in Nature

Jun 14, 2024 | Resilience | 0 comments

Find a way 

Life is challenging, learn to cultivate your Resilient Mindset


Everything in nature wants to thrive. 

Place a houseplant in the wrong place, and it will survive, but won’t thrive. 

Move it to a place that has the right conditions for it, and it will thrive. 

I have a christmas tree called Bruce, Bruce the Spruce. He sounds like the James Bond of the festive season, but alas my Bruce has been a mere shadow of his former self this past year. Why? Because he was placed in the wrong spot in the garden, a dark corner that was full of wind but little sunlight. He was moved 8 months ago, and to be honest, I didn’t think he was going to make it. He looked like a tree that had seen his last christmas. 

But nature will find a way. It’s resilient like that. 

Bruce is sprouting new, young, healthy spikey bits. He may not recover to look like the tree he once was, but he is determined to survive, and thrive. 

nature is resilient

Humans are part of nature, with an innate desire to survive and thrive. 

If you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, surviving is when our physiological and safety needs are met. We cannot begin to flourish and thrive until those fundamental needs are met. Thriving looks like belonging, it is having self – esteem for oneself; at its pinnacle it is self actualisation – striving to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. That’s a lifelong journey of me-search, learning, curiosity, challenging oneself out of the comfort zone, inevitable failure, which brings with it opportunity for further learning and growth. 

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Nothing about the world we live in is neat and linear. Not even Time, but that one is a conversation for another day. : ) Highs are followed by lows are followed by highs. And so on and so forth until we might sometimes feel that our lives are fragile dinghies being tossed about precariously in stormy seas. As Justin Trudeau said at the World Economic Forum in 2018 ‘’the pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again’’. Change is a certainty, and an increasingly accelerated pace to that chance is also a given. That level of change can feel terrifying, but it is inevitable, and so we need to accept it, and like Bruce, find a way to thrive in it. 



By cultivating your Resilient Mindset 

Resilience – from the Latin resilire. I remember reading once that resilire was used to describe trees that would bend but not break. When Life presents you with a bend; learn how to lean into it.


Psychologist Martin Seligman, credited as being the father of positive psychology, talks about staying out of the 3Ps as a way to nurture an optimistic outlook in the face of one of life’s obstacles. The 3Ps are: personal, permanent, pervasive. Because what matters is not what happens to us, but the explanatory style that we adopt to explain and rationalise to ourselves what has happened. Having a 3Ps explanatory style leads to feelings of hopelessness, even victimhood. Things like this always happen to me. 

The optimistic way of explaining adverse events, which is essential to a resilient mindset, is that things happen, but they’re usually temporary, and specific to the situation.

Or in the words of Stoic Marcus Aurelius ‘’External things are not the problem. It’s your assessment of them. Which you can erase right now’’. 


Jane McGonigal, a video games designer, redesigned her life circumstances after a serious head injury. She talks about the four elements to a resilient mindset :   

Physical resilience – which we can boost by moving and using our bodies. 

Mental resilience – willpower is a muscle and just like any muscle we can strengthen it with conditioning. Mental conditioning is boosted by setting and achieving small tasks. 

Emotional resilience – it is an evolutionary defence mechanism that our brains default to negative. We can boost emotional resilience by noticing and noting the positives, through habitual behaviours such as daily gratitude and journaling. 

Social resilience – no man is an island, said the poet John Donne, and we gain strength from the support of others.


Life is the ultimate wicked problem. It is complex, and messy, there are no straight lines or easy solutions. Do yourself an invaluable service and do the work on developing and strengthening your resilient mindset. 


‘’Resilience is a choice. It’s choosing to rise above your circumstances, no matter how difficult, and become the person you’re meant to be’’. David Goggins. Be resilient in nature. 

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