Happy or Resilient?

Would you rather be resilient or happy?resiliency, gardens

I have a friend who is researching resiliency as part of her Ph. D program. In a world with more changes and challenges, it seems important to develop resiliency for both individuals and communities. My garden and nature remind me to be more resilient.

According to psychologist Peter Kramer, resilience is the ability to cope with life’s frustrations without falling apart. And reslilience, not happiness, is the opposite of depression.

According to the CARRI, community resilience is the ability to anticipate risk, limit impact, and bounce back rapidly through survival, adaptability, evolution, and growth in the face of turbulent change.

According to an article in Daily Good, these are the key qualities of resiliency:

Realistically optimistic- meaning we have optimism, tapered by realism, and critical thinking applied to our lives. We don’t simply gloss over things with a rose-colored paint brush!

  • Fully experience all our feelings from happy to sad. This develops our capacity to feel and relate to ourselves and other people in their challenges. Compassion grows out of understanding, acceptance and care.
  • Appreciate the small blessings. We sometimes fail to realize that a good life is built on simple actions and joys.
  • Practice gratitude. I’ve written about this many times, and still need to practice more!
  • Receive or create support. I need a better support system. That’s one of my goals for 2015!
  • Take care of our physical health with diet, sleep and exercise. Thankfully, my health is pretty good.  🙂

After some big challenges the last few years, I’m learning to be more resilient. I bought a house, lost my job, and then realized I didn’t even like the neighborhood. At first, I spent a lot of time complaining about the situation, but not taking any action to improve the house or sell it. Slowly, I accepted my situation and started working to improve my home and yard. You’ve seen some of the gardens. Similarly, my investments turned downward, and I went into resistance and fear, unable to take effective action. The combination of poor choices and living off my savings has resulted in losing the vast majority of my life savings.

spring flowers

Slowly, I’ve worked back from depression and overwhelm to acceptance. Now I’m working on action and evolving. Blogging has been a part of my rebuilding process, discovering and feeding a new passion. My journey has also required practicing self-compassion and self-care. Trust and action are skills I’m wanting to improve. Trust is connected to confidence, attitude and just about everything in our lives. For me, action and attitude are inter-related, helping to build trust.

Overall, I’d say my attitude is a little better. I’m more determined, taking action, and developing trust, along with resiliency. Right now, I’m working two sales jobs, and it isn’t working, so I’m looking again! Understanding there will be losses, I’m more prepared, willing to make ‘mistakes’, experiment, learn, and move on with new choices. I’ve also been reminded of the value of accountability to help keep me on track for my dreams and goals.

To me, this is the essence of a good life: how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much trust as we can. And remembering that what matters most is love.

May we become more resilient and loving, able to flow with life. Blessings, Brad 


37 thoughts on “Happy or Resilient?

  1. Such a great post Brad, thanks for sharing! So interesting to read the difference between happiness and resiliency. I wish you the best as you look into switching jobs again, my friend…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent post, Brad, and so bravely honest.
    To answer your question:
    I’ve decided to be both. Resilient and happy.

    The meanings of each of those words has changed, of necessity, in recent years.
    I went overboard with my aim to be super-resilient and that didn’t help, so I’ve ‘recalibrated’.
    And my idea of what it takes to be happy has definitely changed.

    So in my world, it’s not one or the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree Cynthia. It’s not really having to choose one or the other. I just liked the definition that shows resiliency may contribute to our happiness. I’m glad you’ve found meanings and processes that work for you. blessings, Brad

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Brad, for sharing from your journey, and for the reminder about resilience … it’s definitely an ‘asset’ (so part of our personal wealthy then, eh?). I so appreciate the insight that a lovely life can be built on and with simple actions and joys. Beautiful. 🙂 Blessings, Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brad to me this sounds like you are not only showing resilience, but that you are embracing and trusting more in the power of you, your intuition.. And when we trust in the things we believe in, I know we then feel happier ..
    It seems to me you are working through your problems and you are a great example for your constant Happy out look shows your courage and strength.. I am certain what you seek you will find.. 🙂 Hugs your way.. Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello my friend Brad!! I love this post and more than that I love the peace I am feeling from you!! I, like many, used to think being happy was a place to “arrive” at. But now I know it is a place to BE. Great connection Brad, that resilience is a key factor in “being” happy. I hope you keep following your internal guides …you can do ANYTHING you want to do!!! Much love to you ♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such valuable attributes and knowing this difference. There was a saying I heard years ago that is perfect in such situations ~ focus on the happiness and it will focus on you. And be resilient with that focus 🙂 Cheers to a great weekend Brad.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. To make a garden beautiful. To give out handfuls of light. To build. To be kind. To start again. To see beauty. To never ever give up on hope. To always have room in your heart for what is noble. Resilience and happiness are already trademarks in your life Brad! I hope you are loving the person that you are and all that you are becoming. Most grateful to know you. Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too Tammy and immensely important in our current world. Thankfully, we have a fairly healthy area with lots of focus on growing local/ regional resources. My friend has been a good resource as well as the web.
      To resiliency! blessings, Brad


  8. Thank you Brad for sharing your life and your insightful thoughts. You seem like a kind and wise person – your ability to accept shows courage and conviction. Best wishes and God bless 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so proud of you, Brad. It’s been a long, hard haul for you and though things haven’t quite turned around as you’d hoped, your attitude is vastly differently from what it was a year (even six months) ago. And yes, every door that doesn’t open the right opportunity is only leading you to the one that will. You just haveta keep trying them doors! Action, right?


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Recrafting our World | writing to freedom

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