Last week I attended a workshop on Optimism and Resilience run by Maria Antoniou from Prothos Consultancy. Here are a few thoughts that came up as a result of this workshop and networking.
I often struggle to keep motivated to attend events or participate in something unless I have already committed to it. The idea of comfy clothes and brain-dead vegetation on the sofa is pretty tempting after an intense day at the office. So sometimes I try to trick myself – I sign up for events well ahead of time and then let tomorrow or next week me worry about being lazy. Often this turns out to be a pleasant surprise, when I find events in my calendar that I have booked months ago and already forgot about. This trick works even better if I invite someone to come along with me and give myself the added responsibility of not letting a friend down.
New places, new people
When signing up for events I try to look out for a few things that might entice me more to go. Aside from the obvious one – the event topic, I keep an eye out for events that are hosted by places I haven’t been to, or will be attended by people I haven’t met. I love getting out into the city and checking out different locations, while learning something new and meeting people from all walks of life. Even if the evening doesn’t turn out as I expected, or the content isn’t very useful, I will most probably still walk away being able to say that I now know a new location or have heard some interesting life stories from someone different to me.
Putting myself in situations where I can’t help but learn something new keeps my brain very happy. Even when the material seems to be very common sense stuff, such as healthy body, healthy mind type of ideas, it can still have a helpful impact. When simple ideas are illustrated by simple models it can stick in memory and becomes much easier to recall in the moment of stress. I’m grateful to have learned about some common inner voice sabotage statements that I recognised in myself and the simple ways to question and overcome them.
Optimism and Resilience
In the workshop Maria covered the Kubler-Ross change curve and how to deal with the various stages of it, as well as some basics about the origins of positive psychology and Martin Seligman among other things. A lot of the solutions and techniques covered were simple enough to remember and incorporate into everyday life which I am hoping to do. The biggest value for me personally was the open discussion and sharing of ideas or problems that we all seem to be experiencing. The old truth still holds that a problem shared is a problem halved! It truly feels like hearing others talk about feelings or experiences that I recognise in myself is somehow comforting and at the same time empowering. If these guys have the same problems and still turn out to be the people I admire then I can overcome those same problems and grow into a person I want to be.