EMOTIONAL HABITS:  7 THINGS RESILIENT PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY is a fantastic book! Got the book on audio and then purchased the print book because there were too many things I wanted to reference! I have been in personal growth for years and this book was still very helpful and packed with great info. The author is insightful and offers support material on his website so you can dig deeper into your learning. It is a quick read, a great gift, and easy to digest. It is a type of cliff notes and reminders for success and mindset.

First, what is the definition of Resilient? The author quotes Google, “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Humans need this today; Leaders need it even more! There is an increasing amount of changes, speed (quicker pace), and instability creating stress. Your ability to be resilient yourself and have enough margin to support your team to build their resilience as well.

Here is a high-level summary of the 7 habits Akash Karia outlines in his book.

Habit 1: Resilient people acknowledge their emotions, accept responsibility for them, and learn to interpret the positive intentions of their emotions…

Often, we are so busy DOING life that we do not stop and check in with ourselves to notice how we are feeling. Feelings can sometimes be that eye-rolling psychology mumbo-jumbo that “strong businesspeople” don’t want to acknowledge; however human beings are subconsciously run by our feelings. When you take time to notice them you have more control over your feelings rather than thinking you don’t have them or not stopping to inventory them. Some sage mentors advise setting a time, stacked on something you do naturally several times a day, like eating, to stop and ask yourself, “How am I feeling physically, and emotionally, what are my thoughts and what do I need?” This is part of self-awareness.

Habit 2: Resilient people master their emotions through their physiology

Building on Habit 1 is noticing your physical posture, expressions, and external manifestation of your internal state. What is interesting is you can observe and shift your posture to match your desired internal state. If you are tired and want to have more energy, stand up, stretch, do a quick jog, make your body big by stretching your arms out and up, and then try and work again. Practice noticing your body and how your external and internal match. Notice what helps shift your internal and external space to what you want and need.

Habit 3: Resilient people consciously control meaning through focus

Resilient people are mindful to not burn themselves out by trying to be everything to everyone and do everything. They understand the power of focus and priorities. They determine and discern what are their top priorities and zones.

Habit 4: Resilient people mold their belief system

Resilient people have mantras and goals that guide their actions and steps. They do this because they are constantly enforcing what they want to believe which impacts what they think, feel, and do.  You may have heard of the Chinese Proverb,  “There is a good dog and a bad dog fighting within each of us. The one that is going to win is the one we feed the most.”  What are your belief systems and how are they supporting or eroding your mood, energy, mindset, and drive?   

Habit 5: Resilient people understand the power of questions

Resilient people ask questions to seek new answers, understanding, and perspective. They realize the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. They know the power of the WHY question, seeking not to challenge but to learn and be curious. As they openly seek to understand and see what they are not seeing they are able to find new ways, innovations, and solutions that they did not see before. This happens when we ask questions and seek to see things differently than our common perspective. Do you remember as a kid hanging upside down from a swing or monkey bar and noticing how differently the world looked? Increase your reliance by helping yourself see more ways and approaches… this expands options and reduces rigidness and stress.

Habit 6: Resilient people manage their self-talk and inner movies

Resilient people understand their thoughts and create their actions and reality. They notice what they are saying to themselves and the soundtrack that is running on the inside. They intentionally notice something like a negative soundtrack and rewrite the script but deliberately and intentionally write the current thought/belief and then rewrite the new or reshaped thinking on a T grid (topic on top of the T – what this is about, current thinking to the left of the vertical line and the new thinking to the right of the line). This is literally the practice you do to build a NEW neuropathway. Often it is our thinking that contributes to our LACK of resilience and to build resilience we need strong beliefs to support it! You have heard the story about the 2 frogs in a pit and the one who was deaf and thought the frogs at the top were cheering him on and eventually he jumped out of the hole, in contrast to the frog that didn’t believe he could get out sadly perished in the hole.

Habit 7: Resilient people use future pacing to control the ABC loop

The ABC sequence is A = Antecedent (the stimulus), B = Behavior, and C = Consequence. It is a formula that helps us to reflect on the cycle that gets us to that drained, burned out, exhausted, or strained place that requires resilience in the first place.  Often, we look at the consequences and might feel the victim of others or circumstances, rather than backing up to see the full loop and look at what we can do to change the stimulus. Example: We currently have high team member turnover. We feel frustrated at the low quality of people to hire and the poor work ethic (blaming the external). We can feel tempted to feel hopeless about hiring our team because it feels so hard and a losing battle. If we can go back to what we would need to change in the ABC we can begin to see more options, we have.

Following that back in the example, because I believe that hiring is hard, I post the job and lower the standard for interviews since I have fewer applicants. (the B). I realize that my thinking, “This is hard and there are not quality people so I have to take what I can get” (the A) is part of my issue. I am getting what I am planning for. To shift, I retrench. The A, “to get a great team member I need to be really clear about what I am looking for and create a rigorous interview process to find the best fit.” The B, I adapt my interview process and add additional filters to ensure I hire a quality applicant. The C, I got a better hire because I changed my inputs.  Resilient people are constantly looking at their loops so that they are feeding and producing what they want and when they are getting something they don’t want, they go back and look at the antecedent or stimulus and change it to change their results. They don’t give up, get overwhelmed, feel discouraged, dig in, realize it is a puzzle and they have a role in it. They are deliberate, intentional, and self-directed to upgrade their thoughts and behaviors to get different results.

Good leadership has to do with the leader’s EI (emotional intelligence) and resiliency is found in your EI. Much of this starts and comes back to SELF-AWARENESS.  This book helps to dive into the aspects of that so you can upgrade your self-awareness and your resilience.  Any person can benefit from this book. It is useful for those in college to learn mindset lessons early to those in business, parenting, or any stage of life to navigate the challenges everyday life can bring. I have recommended it to numerous clients. While most things are not “rocket science” per se, they are compiled well and presented in a way that you can easily learn and assess which areas you would like to build your resiliency for your personal success. It is a quick read and helps to refocus and remind you of things that will support you to be more resilient!