01 Jul Presence, Flow and Eudaimonia
Purpose for Resilience
As a young doctor, it seemed that the science and practice applied to save lives, might have another purpose. Medical and biological sciences could be applied to improve and optimise life. The vision took me into Sports Medicine and then Resilience.
However, most clients have us pegged as the bounce or “tough it out” team.
I have experimented with dropping “Resilience” from workshops and, instead, using the terms “Presence, Flow and Eudaimonia”. After a dozen test runs there are three conclusions:
- Immediate positive resonance and engagement
- Fresh, enabling insights and conversations arise
- Surprised participants say they never linked these ideas with Resilience
Oops! “Resilience” traps us in sickness, suffering, and not coping. This was never the purpose. The Resilience Institute was established as an enabler of presence, flow and rest. Let’s solve the problem.
Defining the Territory
Presence is a state of being fully present to the moment in body, heart and mind. It is relaxed, alert, and fully engaged in a moment of time. Presence is BEING our best.
Flow is actively meeting a challenge with a full set of skills. It is measured as a state of full physical, emotional and cognitive immersion in an action. In flow, we are DOING our best.
Eudaimonia is good (eu) spirit (daimon). This is the outcome of a life lived well. Talents, passions, skills and time are applied to a meaningful purpose that brings us a feeling of fulfilment and joy. We are LIVING our best version of self.
Resilience includes bounce, courage, connection and creativity. The science of resilience is an integration of the biology of physiology, emotion and cognition. The practice is a set of skills that help us enrich the experience of life. Resilience is PRACTISING for our best experiences of life. In short, resilience is the enabler.
Our ultimate purpose (strategy) is a good life – Eudaimonia. Our objectives (tactics) are to master presence, flow and rest. Thus, resilience is the set of practices or processes that demand deliberate practice and excellence. We are resilient when we execute these practices with consistency and skill.
Frame Resilience in the Context of your Life
Define Eudaimonia for yourself
Create the best working picture a great life. Use times when you felt close to help expand and refine this image. Be open for it to develop, mature and enrich as you master the inputs. It is a 24-hour show with many working parts. In your rhythm, discipline and flexibility emerges creativity. Every day counts as you lay down the biological foundations of your spirit in action.
Master the rest cycle
Our data shows that roughly half of us are too over-stimulated and distressed to get started. In this fragile state, creative thinking, skilful planning and expert skills simply wither. Apply yourself to securing your sleep, relaxation practices, caring environments and self-acceptance (or compassion).
Identify and pursue the flow zones that count in your life
Define flow in your career, building a family, your sports or your hobbies. A clear view of matching your skills to meaningful challenges is essential. Then you will have to be deliberate in your daily execution. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, use coaches or join communities of practice. Be patient. Mastering flow takes many thousands of hours.
Work on your presence
When present we are calmly alert and finely attuned to the situation. Master posture, slow diaphragmatic breath, emotional awareness and a quiet mind. Presence is being fully alive and restful in your potential. Tension, slumping, fidgeting and panic close you down. As we see in sport, leadership and combat, this calm presence is the doorway to flow.
Understand and master resilience
Resilience can be used either as a conceptual diagnostic and development concept or simply as a set of practices that you execute on a daily basis. The foundations of fitness, contemplation, sleep, emotional learning and training the mind transform your energy and capacity to BE present, DO what matters in flow, rejuvenate fast, and secure Eudaimonia.