Challenges Build Resilience

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In Daniel Kahneman’s book, Thinking Fast and Slow, he points out that our brain strives for the easiest path for a solution; thus we set up daily routines and habits that allow us to get things done efficiently. We have a morning practice that gets us out of bed, moves us quickly to take care of our hygiene and nutritional needs. We don’t spend a great deal of time planning our breakfast like we do our dinner.

While efficiency is good, it does not usually lead to person growth. To accomplish that, we must take on challenges that push us beyond our comfort level. Perhaps it is asking your boss to let you lead a meeting of her peers or maybe it’s signing up for a Zumba class at your fitness club that you’ve been thinking about. You may take a trip over to the local university to find out more about that advanced degree program.

When we push ourselves, we force our brain to create new neural pathways that provide new capabilities and confidence about conquering our world. I usually consider myself to be pretty lazy and will cite Kahneman’s work as proof that idleness has a place in the world, but then I often decide to stay on the treadmill for another 15 minutes.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017

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