As a child, my resilience was all over the place. I failed miserably in grade school. I was sent to the office so many times in 3rd grade that one day I hid under the stairs instead of going to the office. My Protective Pattern of avoiding was already strong. I ran away from school that day. Shame in getting F’s took me further down the spiral until I failed 6th grade.
But I was a curious kid. My Curiosity was strong so I put it to good use. I was curious about nature and found early on that I loved knowing all the birds, their names, songs, and where to see them. That turned me into an ornithologist. I loved the water and was fortunate to have a canoe and a lake in my backyard. I learned to swim, paddle, and fish and I became an outdoorsman.
My curiosity took me into the mountains and the mountains taught me many lessons. I became a climber and a mountaineer. Here, I learned about Choice. I was leading an Outward Bound course with at-risk youth and we’d been backpacking in the pouring rain for days in the mountains of North Carolina. I was drenched, cold, and had a bad attitude. I discovered there and then that I could choose my attitude, so I did. I decided to be completely happy—drenched, cold, and singing in the rain!
As an Outward Bound instructor, I also learned to follow my heart. Courage comes from the root, Cur, which means heart. Courage is following your heart. I followed my heart and my deep love and care for people. I got my master’s in counseling to help children who had suffered, as I had. I discovered I loved learning and it is still one of my top values. That kid who ran away from school got his Ph.D. so he could help make the world a better place.
These three Resilient Mindsets – Curiosity, Choice, and Courage – are an integral part of the We Are Resilient approach. They guide us in using the Patterns and Skills. When we are curious about reactions in ourselves or others, when we recognize we can choose our responses, and when we use our courage to make needed changes we become our best selves. Resilient mindsets strengthen our resilience and help create the world we want.
I am the luckiest guy in the world. By engaging my curiosity I found my way. By listening deeply I found my choice. By following my heart I found my career.
Which resilient mindset would help you the most in your life?
~ Chuck Fisher