Resilience is the human capacity to absorb energy, resist the impact of its force, and return to our previous state quickly.
And while some of us are blessed with more resilience than others, there is one strategy that’s available to everyone.
We can place ourselves in environments that supports our ability to bounce back.
A common term for this strategy is creating slack in the system. Building emptiness into our life so we set ourselves up to absorb all of the unexpected and connect dots that haven’t been connected before.
Banks have always done this extremely well. They tend to keep a certain amount of excess reserves, say twenty percent of their funds, as a contingency against many of problems that might arise. This slack makes their system less vulnerable and more resilient.
Each of us could approach our experience in the same way.
Instead of packing our schedules, brains and bodies to the max in order to execute with all our might, we could set aside twenty percent of our resources as a necessary component to keep us agile.
Instead of designing everything we do to operate at maximum efficiency in the moment, we could build in blank time to more thoughtfully consider our future.
Like leaving earlier for work in the morning, which makes the inevitable disruptions, distractions and disappointments of our daily commute easier to absorb.
Weiss writes in his life balance book about something called the fallacy of over preparation. Performers tell him that they want to be at their peak during the actual performance, which means they don’t want everything down pat. They actually want some adrenaline rushing.
We ramp up less, become more porous, let more of the world in, dance in the moment, and somehow, greatness abounds.
It’s counterintuitive. It’s scary. And it requires deep faith in ourselves and in the process.
But the concept of slack is also a reliable way to hit those untapped resources of resilience buried down deep.
If there are no more blank spaces on your map anymore, allow yourself the luxury of whitespace.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How could you buy yourself time and give yourself the ability to withstand adversity that comes out of nowhere?