Join the Resilience Band: Why Learning How to Fight Back Is the Key to Thriving in 2018

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 24, 2018 | Go to article overview

Join the Resilience Band: Why Learning How to Fight Back Is the Key to Thriving in 2018


IT'S only January but already 2018 has a buzzword: resilience. The theme of the year is adaptability in the face of crisis, and a new book, Type R, by mother and daughter Stephanie and Ama Marston, is here to show you the way. Released tomorrow, it's a blend of psychology, neuroscience, business and politics, and aims to get you fighting fit for the year ahead.

Why now? Well, apparently, formerly the world was split into Type As (competitive, highly organised, ambitious, impatient) and Type Bs (patient, relaxed and easy-going). But now, the world is disruptive: Brexit, Donald Trump, climate change, women's battles with the gender pay gap and the post-#MeToo environment. Resilience is a quality prized in boardrooms and at the top levels of government. This year is about finding the flexibility to mount a fightback.

The writers know their stuff. Stephanie had a serious car accident that left her temporarily unable to walk in the mid-Seventies, and a slipped vertebrae meant Ama was bedbound for six months. Strangely, both say losing control changed their outlook on life. "In times of crisis, change and stress, inaction was not an option," they write in Type R. "We knew we had to adapt and evolve."

In other words, you're not born Type R you become one by meeting adversity. Here are their rules for joining the resistance.

Use anti-mindfulness There isn't a magic spell to make everything go away. Instead, they advocate anti-mindfulness: "letting go of the notion that we will find 'balance' and instead embracing the world's numerous imbalances". Resilient individuals turn challenges into opportunities. For example, on the Carteret Atoll, seven tiny islands near Papua New Guinea, rising sea levels have been embraced and used as a chance to build a vibrant new community. Don't stick your head in the sand start digging your own way out.

Find your adversity sweet spot How we think about stress matters. Shift your focus from eliminating it to changing your perception of it. …

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