We watched ever minute intensely.
Well not every minute. And not always so intensely. It was a favorite of ours because who doesn’t like action, fast cars, gun fights, treachery, clandestine plots, good looking people and plain old banter?
Burn Notice, the Matt Nix original for USA Network, held a firm spot in our TV watching rotation.
Especially the early seasons that were more “secret agent training” type episodes. Michael Westen was the epitome of resiliency. More on that below. Beyond just liking the main character because we have the same name, I felt like I could identify with the rejected agent. It is not hard for me to indentify with someone who had tried to do everything right and then just was not welcome one day.
I felt this way once I graduated college and then spent the next four years looking for full time employment. I had done the steps in the system and then there was no pot of gold to be found. I felt like a sucker. I had good intentions. I wanted to help people. I picked something stable and long term.
I’m glad it didn’t work out. And by how much Michael Westen seemed to enjoy his challenge of being burned it may have been more fun for him than just another assignment.
The show was full of action and adventure. Cliff hangers full of mystery.
Ultimately I think the show was about resiliency and redemption.
re·sil·ient (rəˈzilyənt/) adjective
(of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
10 ways I can make myself more resilient
1 Do Not Take It Personally
This lesson took a long time for me to understand. I used to be super sensitive to most everything. And I would as they say “cry at the drop of a hat”. I was insecure and afraid. I was unsure of myself. I got teased about wearing “tighty-whities” one time in middle school and then immediately switched to boxers.
Not everyone is trying to be helpful and kind. And not everything someone else has to say needs to hold the same weight of influence in my life. I consider the source. I see if I trust and value the person talking. Then I make adjustments appropriately.
The slightest thing would knock me down. Not taking it personally helped me get back up again.
2 Tomorrow (Or Even This Minute) Is A Chance To Start Over
Often times when faced with problems it can be overwhelming. To bounce back I have learned that I have another chance to start over. I can wait until tomorrow and start fresh with a new day. Or if need be start over this minute. Flush out the bad thoughts and renew my mind.
Allowing myself to push the reset button allows me to be resilient.
3 Be Forgiving To Be Forgiven
This is the ultimate reset button. Usually when I have the need to be resilient I also have the need to be forgiving. Usually the perceived difficult condition is in conjunction with a relationship with someone else. It may even have been my fault. To be forgiving to that person, or myself, I can then be forgiven by them.
4 Know Failures Don’t Define You
This lesson in resiliency is easy said and more harder to be done. I have often harbored negative memories and past disappointments. Now I work on not giving them brain space. The view that I am the combined total of my past (failures) is not true. Letting go of past problems and looking towards the future, or better yet focusing on the present makes today better and allows for a brighter future.
Plus I probably will mess up again so no need to remember the last time I did.
5 Trials Equal Smiles
I once read, “Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
What? Consider trials a joy?
If you think on how they can make you better it will help with resiliency. This difficult thing will pass and it will make an improvement. If I understand this I can know that I will overcome it and come out on top. When I forget this I fall apart.
6 Plan For Problems
Knowing that trials in life come up, there is a need to plan for problems. Most the time I would be upset when something “ruined” my day. Looking back at these times, I could have prevented problems by planning ahead. Or at least being prepared for them. Cars will break down. Have a plan and be prepared. It will happen.
Dishes will break. People will forget to show up. People will cancel last minute. Water will get everywhere.
Whatever it is, have an idea on how you will respond. This helps me to bounce back once it does. And to not be upset when the inevitable happens. Remember the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy (gradual decline into disorder) of the universe always increases.
7 Have A Good Defense
Sometimes you can’t prevent problems. So when they are upon you be ready to defend yourself. This seems like the last one of planning. But it is the action step. When the problem happens, put into action your plan and defend against the problem getting worse.
Toilet flooding? Do you know where the valve is to shut off the water flow? Knowing this has allowed me to save much time in clean up by stopping the problem at the source.
Stemming the tide of problems by defending against their attack will help you get back on track faster.
8 Drop It
I touched on this above in number four. Don’t give problem brain space. Drop it. Let it go. Whatever line that works. Not holding on to trials helps gets past the problem and into the solution phase faster.
9 Ignore The “No”
The word “no” is like a drug. People use it often. And are almost addicted to it’s power. It can crush a dream. It can douse a fire. Whatever else it can do, it doesn’t have to be the end. The trick is not always pushing ahead bullheadedly. Maybe make a change in who or what needs the “yes”.
Asking others or making adjustments is just part of the process.
But giving up when getting a “no” is not resilient. Find the “yes”.
10 Remember The Successes
A shot of success will help recover from a setback. Remember a time things were good and going well to have a motivation to pick yourself up and get back in the saddle. I have used this and will be sure to use it again and again to be resilient.
Now if only I can find out why I got burned in the first place, then maybe I can get back in with the agency.