Are you dealing with a personal challenge–maybe an aging parent, a new chapter in your personal life, a health issue, or a child who requires special attention? Are you also dealing with changes in your work life? If so, then you’re the reason I wrote Prosilience: Building Your Resilience for a Turbulent World.
I’ve been studying resilience for a long time. It began in the world of organizational change, in an attempt to understand why some people adapt to changes more easily than others. In that process, the research team I was working with identified a set of “resilience characteristics” that help people deal with high levels of turbulence while maintaining high levels of productivity. We developed a personal-development tool, the Personal Resilience Profile, and training materials that organizations could use to help people build their resilience. My first book, Managing Change with Personal Resilience, was based on that work and designed for an organizational audience.
More than ten years later, I felt the need to write another book aimed at a much broader audience. Why? Here are a few thoughts:
- The same patterns that show up when people are faced with organizational change are also visible when they deal with other types of challenges. But the language of the first book, and the examples provided focused specifically on organizational settings. I wanted to broaden the scope and update the language to make the information meaningful to a larger audience that might include my parents, siblings, friends (and their children), and a whole range of people who might find it helpful to understand and strengthen their own responses to disruption and change.
- I’ve learned a lot in the past 10-15 years. In addition to learning about scientists’ enhanced understanding of the human brain under stress and reading others’ work on resilience, I’ve gone to massage school, worked on developing my mindfulness, taken up sailboat racing, gotten older, and continued to observe the world around me. I wanted to broaden my framework to include new insights on energy, on calming yourself, and on the various “resilience muscles” that were included in the original model.
- Many people think about resilience as something that happens after a major challenge occurs. The patterns I have observed convince me that there is a lot that takes place before encountering a challenge that makes a huge difference–that people can systematically build their resilience by using small, everyday difficulties as a chance to consciously practice ways of responding. It seemed important to share this with people who could benefit from it, and also with coaches, counselors, parents, and others who play a role in supporting resilience in the people they work with and care about.
It was a great experience to step back and think about the best way to share what I have learned. My goal was to create a practical, helpful, accessible book that could speak to anyone from high school through post-retirement, with lots of exercises and ideas for building resilience. It took me more than two years to write it, and I had the help of a lot of friends and reviewers along the way. I’m excited about the positive feedback I’ve received so far, and look forward to seeing where the Prosilience path continues to lead.