When we look at the landscape of society and business today, we see rapidly increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and disruption. It is important that we as human beings and as companies learn to allow a space for fear and uncertainty in our lives, as they provide amazing opportunities for growth as leaders. Our natural instinct is to avoid or resist these feelings, or try to fix them immediately. However, if you dare to embrace the experience, and to ask yourself, “What is the potential in this right now?” – you will often unlock amazing opportunities.
My own personal journey of resilience and helping others started in a situation like that when I was about 30 years old. I had a very successful career in the corporate world, but suddently from one day to the other I was let go. I had learned a lot about banking and IT, but deep down I knew that I was not living my purpose. To avoid feeling the discomfort of being without a job, I was pushing myself to the max physically, which was my best strategy I knew at that point in time. Like a lot of people in the corporate world, I never took the time to stop and reflect on my situation – “Am I in the right job? Am I where I want to be? Or should I direct my energy and attention to something else?”
I was fortunate enough though to take a year off from work, and travelled around the World where I began practicing yoga and meditation. I learned how to listen to my body and my intuition, and I realized that my passion was working with people, helping them grow personally and professionally.
A few years later, I was very close to pursue my dream on establish my own company – inspiring other people to unleash their potential. I had negotiated with a large international training company about licensing their concept for Europe, and the day before I was attending a yoga retreat in France, the deal felt through. I found myself being totally lost and with a lot of fear about what my next step should be. During the retreat, I was asked to help in the garden – collecting the leaves from the ground. The first day, I went out and did what I always had done. I focused on achievement, and tried to collect as many leaves as possible. However, I realised that same day, that I could far from finish the project, and in that moment, I decided to stop my old pattern and instead to focus on being totally present. In exactly that moment, all the insights that I needed to start my new business came flowing through. I decided on the name of my company, I invited a friend of mine to co-own the business, and I developed a Resilience Model, that I for the past 7 years successfully have implemented in a number of global organizations. Through that experience, I learned that instead of trying to force things to happen, often what is actually needed is to simply pay attention in a relaxed yet alert way, which can open up a powerful flow of creative inspiration.
Today I am deeply committed to supporting business leaders and high performing individuals to become more Resilient – the capacity to perform skillfully under high pressure and stress, with awareness of the situation as an opportunity to break through rather than break down. In our company, we tap into the latest scientific research and decades of personal experience. We take the time to understand our clients’ needs and meet people where they are. The Resilience Model we use for our work consists of a holistic approach including Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit. Within these four areas we have developed the following 12 elements of change:
Most leaders today are under a lot of pressure, so it’s important to approach our developmental growth in a way that feels exciting and not overwhelming. We help leaders to identify 2-3 areas where they really feel called to unleash their potential, to get clear on the changes that will have the most impact, and to really focus on making them sustainable. Our philosophy is “1 change” – it is about finding that 1 change in our life that has the greatest positive impact on your development, and to make that sustainable. If you manage that, you will automatically increase your capacity and awareness to also being able to change other important areas in either your professional or personal life.
We also emphasize the importance of Serving Others as a way to nourish and sustain ourselves. Once in Northern India, I was visiting my Buddhist Lama (17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje), I told him that I felt like I wasn’t practicing enough meditation, as I was working too much. He said, “Don’t worry. Just focus on Buddhicita which is really about “Doing good things for other people on a daily basis, without expecting anything in return.” I have tried to live by that principle every day since then, which is now an integrated part of the company philosophy and how we deal with our clients.
In today society, resilience and capacity building are some of the most important qualities to develop if you wants to sustain and grow your awareness and qualities as a leader, and to give you the opportunity to learn more, I have outlined the “8 Resilience Tips” below.
8 Resilience tips from Energy Excellence
1. Scheduling regular recovery breaks (5-15 minutes) has been shown to increase your productivity at work by up to 20%. Get out of the office environment, or find a quiet place inside, where you can relax and just be.
2. Use the countryside 3 times a week to train your body. Get your heart rate up and strengthen your muscles (body)
3. Ensure time every week to work on a project that you are passionate about – both professionally and personally.
4. At home, schedule time to be 100% present with your family each day. This will improve your efficiency at work and the quality of your interactions with your family.
5. Meditate for 10-20 minutes every day – either in the morning, at lunch break or before you go to bed. Regular meditation practice is proven to calm your mind, increase focus, decrease stress and improve psychological and physical health.
6. Studies on multitasking show that most people are up to 40% less effective when they multitask. To the extent you can, try to focus on one thing at a time and finish a task before you start a new one.
7. Take 1 hour per week for yourself to reflect on your life purpose.
8. Once a day, choose a “random act of kindness” and make a difference in the lives of people that you meet.