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6 Habits Of Resilient People

What makes some people persevere through trying circumstances while others begin flailing at the first sign of crisis? Understanding the key qualities of resilient people is the first step to cultivating that bounce-back quality in yourself.

By Gwen Moran

On April Fool’s Day 2011, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer. As a freelance writer with a career I love and a family that depends on my income, I spent most of the year juggling surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation with assignments, interviews, and youth soccer schedules. Throughout, friends and colleagues seemed surprised that I remained relatively active and pretty optimistic.

What else was there to do, I wondered. Taking to my bed for the better part of a year wasn’t an option for my personality or my bank account. Why not look at the bright side of early diagnosis and great prognosis and keep going? During that time, I contributed to two books, wrote dozens of articles and ended the year with a clean bill of health.

Since then, I’ve been more curious than ever about why some people persevere through trying circumstances while others begin flailing at the first sign of crisis. I wondered if there were commonalities among resilient people and whether it’s possible to develop those qualities and strong points. The answers, according to the experts, are yes and yes. Here’s what those never-say-die folks have in common–and how you can develop them for yourself.

1. They Build Relationships.

People who bounce back tend to have a network of supportive people around them, says Michael Ungar, Ph.D., co-director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. For some people, that’s a close-knit family, but for others it’s a carefully cultivated group of friends, colleagues, mentors and others who actually care and are willing to help. Ungar says he’s seen the tendency to seek out support sources in children as young as five years old: When the family unit isn’t functioning in that way, children tend to reach out to coaches, teachers or other adults as a support network. Similarly, resilient adults seek out others who care about them who can offer emotional, professional or other assistance when times get tough.

2. They Reframe Past Hurts.

Lorenn Walker had just left a hotel bar one night in 1976 when an unknown assailant nearly murdered her. He fled, but she was left badly injured, needing surgery on her face. Her recovery took four months. Through therapy and willfully refusing to be mired in fear and resentment, she was able to “reframe,” or think about the situation in a different way. Instead of resenting the scars and the fearful memories, the Waialua, Hawaii, lawyer and counselor sees the attack as the catalyst that led her to her work in what she calls restorative justice–counseling prisoners and victims of violent crime in how to make peace with the past and cultivate meaning in their lives.

“You have the power to determine how you’re going to look at a situation, and you don’t give that power to other people, particularly people who are bad or who hurt you,” she says.

3. They Accept Failure.

Paul LeBuffe lectures about resilience as part of his role as director of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, a Villanova, Pennsylvania, facility that works with educators and mental health professionals to develop more resilient children. It’s not uncommon for his audience to include young people who were highly successful students, but graduated during the recession and are devastated at their inability to find jobs.

“They don’t know how to cope with the fact that they didn’t get the first job they applied for. So we hear a lot about these young people sitting in their parents’ basements playing video games,” he says.

If you don’t give yourself the opportunity to fail sometimes and accept it as a part of life, you’re going to struggle with bouncing back, LeBuffe says. Successfully emerging from failure develops the ability to be optimistic that things can be bad now, but they’ll be okay eventually, he says.

4. They Have Multiple Identities.

If you get most of your self-worth from your job and you get fired, you’ve suddenly lost both your source of income and a big part of your identity, says Ungar. Resilient people often have a number of areas from which they get their sense of self-worth, says Ungar. They may have deep friendships or family connections, strong faith, or a leadership role in the community. They’re better able to bounce back, because even if one goes away, they still have a sense of connection and being valued from those other areas, he says.

5. They Practice Forgiveness.

Whether it’s forgiving yourself for a failure or forgiving someone else for an injury or injustice, being able to let go of past hurts and move on is an essential component of resilience, Walker says. When you find yourself “ruminating about grievances and negative stories, you have to just stop yourself and remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for,” she says. If you’re not a naturally forgiving person, this takes practice, but it is a skill that can be mastered, she adds.


6. They Have a Sense of Purpose.

LeBuffe says resilient people have a sense of purpose that helps them analyze their situations and plot the next moves. This stems from a set of values that is unique to each individual. When you know what’s important to you, whether it’s family, faith, money, career, or something else, you can prioritize what needs your attention most immediately to help you get back to where you want to be. That goes for organizations, as well. When everyone knows the ultimate goal, they can make meaningful contributions. When they don’t, they’re mired in indecision.

“If the people who work in a company don’t know the values, they’re paralyzed. They have to keep coming back to senior management to say, ‘What about going after this market?’ or ‘What do you think about extending credit another 30 days?’ instead of being able to act adaptively,” he says. “It’s the same for people. You have to know what’s important to you to be able to take action.”

source: www.fastcompany.com

 


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23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert

The Huffington Post      By Carolyn Gregoire  Posted: 08/20/2013

Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who’s hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the “social butterfly” can just as easily have an introverted personality.

“Spotting the introvert can be harder than finding Waldo,” Sophia Dembling, author of “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World,” tells The Huffington Post. “A lot of introverts can pass as extroverts.”

People are frequently unaware that they’re introverts – especially if they’re not shy — because they may not realize that being an introvert is about more than just cultivating time alone. Instead, it can be more instructive to pay attention to whether they’re losing or gaining energy from being around others, even if the company of friends gives them pleasure.

“Introversion is a basic temperament, so the social aspect – which is what people focus on — is really a small part of being an introvert,” Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, psychotherapist and author of “The Introvert Advantage,” said in a Mensa discussion. “It affects everything in your life.”

Despite the growing conversation around introversion, it remains a frequently misunderstood personality trait. As recently as 2010, the American Psychiatric Association even considered classifying “introverted personality” as a disorder by listing it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), a manual used to diagnose mental illness.

But more and more introverts are speaking out about what it really means to be a “quiet” type. Not sure if you’re an innie or an outie? See if any of these 23 telltale signs of introversion apply to you.

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.

Introverts are notoriously small talk-phobic, as they find idle chatter to be a source of anxiety, or at least annoyance. For many quiet types, chitchat can feel disingenuous.

“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people,” Laurie Helgoe writes in “Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength.” “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”

2. You go to parties – but not to meet people.

If you’re an introvert, you may sometimes enjoy going to parties, but chances are, you’re not going because you’re excited to meet new people. At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable around. If you happen to meet a new person that you connect with, great – but meeting people is rarely the goal.

3. You often feel alone in a crowd.

Ever feel like an outsider in the middle of social gatherings and group activities, even with people you know?

“If you tend to find yourself feeling alone in a crowd, you might be an introvert,” says Dembling. “We might let friends or activities pick us, rather than extending our own invitations.”

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.

Networking (read: small-talk with the end goal of advancing your career) can feel particularly disingenuous for introverts, who crave authenticity in their interactions.

“Networking is stressful if we do it in the ways that are stressful to us,” Dembling says, advising introverts to network in small, intimate groups rather than at large mixers.

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

Do you have a penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies? If so, you’re a textbook introvert.

“Introverts like to jump into the deep end,” says Dembling.

6. You’re easily distracted.

While extroverts tend to get bored easily when they don’t have enough to do, introverts have the opposite problem — they get easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation.

“Extroverts are commonly found to be more easily bored than introverts on monotonous tasks, probably because they require and thrive on high levels of stimulation,” Clark University researchers wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “In contrast, introverts are more easily distracted than extroverts and, hence, prefer relatively unstimulating environments.”

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

Introverts can be excellent leaders and public speakers – and although they’re stereotyped as being the shrinking violet, they don’t necessarily shy away from the spotlight. Performers like Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Emma Watson all identify as introverts, and an estimated 40 percent of CEOs have introverted personalities. Instead, an introvert might struggle more with meeting and greeting large groups of people on an individual basis.

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench – not in the middle.

Whenever possible, introverts tend to avoid being surrounded by people on all sides.

“We’re likely to sit in places where we can get away when we’re ready to – easily,” says Dembling. “When I go to the theater, I want the aisle seat or the back seat.”


10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Do you start to get tired and unresponsive after you’ve been out and about for too long? It’s likely because you’re trying to conserve energy. Everything introverts do in the outside world causes them to expend energy, after which they’ll need to go back and replenish their stores in a quiet environment, says Dembling. Short of a quiet place to go, many introverts will resort to zoning out.

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

It’s true that opposites attract, and introverts frequently gravitate towards outgoing extroverts who encourage them to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.

“Introverts are sometimes drawn to extroverts because they like being able to ride their ‘fun bubble,'” Dembling says.

12. You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

The dominant brain pathways introverts use is one that allows you to focus and think about things for a while, so they’re geared toward intense study and developing expertise, according to Olsen Laney.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

Because really, is anything more terrifying?

14. You screen all your calls – even from friends.

You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.

“To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,'” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend – as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.”

15. You notice details that others don’t.

The upside of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli is that introverts often have a keen eye for detail, noticing things that may escape others around them. Research has found that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, as compared to extroverts.

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.

“Extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do,” says Olsen Laney. “Most introverts need to think first and talk later.”

17. You have low blood pressure.

A 2006 Japanese study found that introverts tend to have lower blood pressure than their extroverted counterparts.

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” – since your 20s.

Introverts observe and take in a lot of information, and they think before they speak, leading them to appear wise to others.

“Introverts tend to think hard and be analytical,” says Dembling. “That can make them seem wise.”

19. You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

Neurochemically speaking, things like huge parties just aren’t your thing. Extroverts and introverts differ significantly in how their brains process experiences through “reward” centers.

Researchers demonstrated this phenomenon by giving Ritalin – the ADHD drug that stimulates dopamine production in the brain – to introverted and extroverted college students. They found that extroverts were more likely to associate the feeling of euphoria achieved by the rush of dopamine with the environment they were in. Introverts, by contrast, did not connect the feeling of reward to their surroundings. The study “suggests that introverts have a fundamental difference in how strongly they process rewards from their environment, with the brains of introverts weighing internal cues more strongly than external motivational and reward cues,” explained LiveScience’s Tia Ghose.

20. You look at the big picture.

When describing the way that introverts think, Jung explained that they’re more interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details. Of course, many introverts excel in detail-oriented tasks – but they often have a mind for more abstract concepts as well.

“Introverts do really enjoy abstract discussion,” says Dembling.

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”

Many introverted children come to believe that there’s something “wrong” with them if they’re naturally less outspoken and assertive than their peers. Introverted adults often say that as children, they were told to come out of their shells or participate more in class.

22. You’re a writer.

Introverts are often better at communicating in writing than in person, and many are drawn to the solitary, creative profession of writing. Most introverts – like “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling – say that they feel most creatively charged when they have time to be alone with their thoughts.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

Introverts can move around their introverted “set point” which determines how they need to balance solitude with social activity. But when they move too much – possibly by over-exerting themselves with too much socializing and busyness – they get stressed and need to come back to themselves, according Olsen Laney. This may manifest as going through periods of heightened social activity, and then balancing it out with a period of inwardness and solitude.

“There’s a recovery point that seems to be correlated with how much interaction you’ve done,” says Dembling. “We all have our own private cycles.”


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10 Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn From Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein has long been considered a genius by the masses. He was a theoretical physicist, philosopher, author, and is perhaps the most influential scientists to ever live.

Einstein has made great contributions to the scientific world, including the theory of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the prediction of the deflection of light by gravity, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose–Einstein condensation, to name a few of his scientific contributions.

Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.”

He’s published more than 300 scientific works and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein is considered the father of modern physics and is probably the most successful scientist there ever was.

10 Amazing Lessons from Albert Einstein:


Follow Your Curiosity

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

What piques your curiosity? I am curious as to what causes one person to succeed while another person fails; this is why I’ve spent years studying success. What are you most curious about? The pursuit of your curiosity is the secret to your success.


Perseverance is Priceless

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Through perseverance the turtle reached the ark. Are you willing to persevere until you get to your intended destination? They say the entire value of the postage stamp consist in its ability to stick to something until it gets there. Be like the postage stamp; finish the race that you’ve started!


Focus on the Present

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”

My father always says you cannot ride two horses at the same time. I like to say, you can do anything, but not everything. Learn to be present where you are; give your all to whatever you’re currently doing.

Focused energy is power, and it’s the difference between success and failure.


The Imagination is Powerful

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Are you using your imagination daily? Einstein said the imagination is more important than knowledge! Your imagination pre-plays your future. Einstein went on to say, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Are you exercising your “imagination muscles” daily, don’t let something as powerful as your imagination lie dormant.



Make Mistakes

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

Never be afraid of making a mistake. A mistake is not a failure. Mistakes can make you better, smarter and faster, if you utilize them properly. Discover the power of making mistakes. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, if you want to succeed, triple the amount of mistakes that you make.


Live in the Moment

“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”

The only way to properly address your future is to be as present as possible “in the present.”

You cannot “presently” change yesterday or tomorrow, so it’s of supreme importance that you dedicate all of your efforts to “right now.” It’s the only time that matters, it’s the only time there is.


Create Value

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

Don’t waste your time trying to be successful, spend your time creating value. If you’re valuable, then you will attract success.

Discover the talents and gifts that you possess, learn how to offer those talents and gifts in a way that most benefits others.

Labor to be valuable and success will chase you down.


Don’t Expect Different Results

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

You can’t keep doing the same thing everyday and expect different results. In other words, you can’t keep doing the same workout routine and expect to look differently. In order for your life to change, you must change, to the degree that you change your actions and your thinking is to the degree that your life will change.


Knowledge Comes From Experience

“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

Knowledge comes from experience. You can discuss a task, but discussion will only give you a philosophical understanding of it; you must experience the task first hand to “know it.” What’s the lesson? Get experience! Don’t spend your time hiding behind speculative information, go out there and do it, and you will have gained priceless knowledge.


Learn the Rules and Then Play Better

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

To put it all in simple terms, there are two things that you must do. The first thing you must do is to learn the rules of the game that you’re playing. It doesn’t sound exciting, but it’s vital. Secondly, you must commit to play the game better than anyone else. If you can do these two things, success will be yours!


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Personality Secrets to a Long Life

Researchers Find Centenarians Optimistic, Extroverted, Positive; Some Became That Way Later in Life
By Kathleen Doheny     WebMD Health News     Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
May 30, 2012 – A new study may offer some tips to help you stick around for your 100th birthday.
Try to be optimistic, easygoing, sociable, and conscientious. Don’t bottle up your feelings. Suppress the urge to talk ill of others, the new research suggests.
That combination of personality factors seems to describe the secrets of living to 100, says researcher Nir Barzilai, PhD, director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y.
Those findings are among the latest from Barzilai’s ongoing Longevity Genes Project.
While Barzilai found that those personality factors offer more clues to longevity, he has a caveat: “Still the No. 1 predictor for being a centenarian is if you have parents who are centenarians.”
Even so, he is trying to answer the question: “Are the genes that are longevity genes also personality genes?”
The new research is published in the journal Aging.

Longevity & Personality Study

Living to 100 years old is still rare. About 53,000 people in the U.S., or 0.2% of the population, are 100-plus. However, the number of centenarians has been increasing about 8% a year, Barzilai says.
And that has captured his research interest and that of others around the country. “There are several groups doing studies on centenarians,” Barzilai says.
Some research has already suggested that centenarians share particular personality traits.
Among them: being extroverted and agreeable.
Barzilai decided to look more closely at genetically based personality characteristics.
He recruited 243 centenarians. He gave them and their family members questionnaires that asked if they had characteristics such as optimism.
He gauged how easygoing they were, how outgoing, and how much they laughed. He looked at how freely they expressed emotions.
He looked at characteristics like conscientiousness, such as a tendency to be self-disciplined.
He looked at neuroticism, a tendency to express negatives emotions such as anxiety, anger, or guilt.
He compared their scores to averages found in the U.S. population.
He also did a validation study to reduce the impact of any mental impairment. Nineteen centenarians and 26 of their children participated in the validation study.
In general, he found those who live to 100:
  • Are outgoing
  • Are positive — not the type to talk ill of others
  • Laugh often
  • Express emotions
  • Are conscientious
  • Are not neurotic
The link he found is just that, Barzilai says. “It doesn’t mean there is a cause-and-effect relationship.”
One problem, he says, is they don’t have – and can’t have – a comparison group. “Their friends died years ago, and younger people won’t work [as a comparison group],” he says.
One surprise? Some of the 100-year-olds, he found out, were not always easygoing and agreeable, he says. He found that out while talking to some of the centenarians’ children.
“There is some adaptation with age,” he says. “You try to focus on the good things and not on the bad.”
“If they are getting hit [with problems],” he says of his centenarians, “they roll with the punches and they smile. When they are healthy and they get to 100, they are very agreeable.”
The easygoing personalities didn’t hold across the board. He tells of one woman’s daughter who confided that her mother was mean.
Later, her siblings declined to even talk to Barzilai for the study because they had nothing to do with their mother.

Personality & Longevity: Perspective

“I really believe these are some of the mechanisms [of longevity],” says Daniela Jopp, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Fordham University.
Her own research on centenarians has found some similar links. She reviewed the study findings.
“We know personality has a strong genetic background,” she says. Those who live to 100, Jopp says, “seem to have a very special psychological makeup.”
Those who age successfully adjust their expectations about health, she has found. They accept a few aches and pains, she says. They don’t focus on complaints, such as having trouble sleeping.
Based on her work and that of others, Jopp says for now she can give this advice to those who want to make it to 100: “Don’t get too stressed out,” she says.
“People who are optimistic and look positively into the future have not only a better time, but it may help them live longer,” she says.
In her research, she finds those living to 100 tend to be well aware of their limited life expectancy, but to continue to make plans anyway.
SOURCES: Nir Barzilai, MD, director of the Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, the Bronx, N.Y. Kato, K. Aging, May 2012. Daniela S. Jopp, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, Fordham University, the Bronx, N.Y.
source: WebMD  MedicineNet.com