A tree growing out of a rocky mountain.

The Resilience Project

7 February 2023

In late 2022 I downloaded and listened to The Resilience Project; since then, I have bought hard copies for friends and families, and I have referred many others to Audible, including my Uber driver from this morning who drove me to the airport.

On our travels, we drove past a local school where large letters proudly promoted the school’s mantra, or belief ‘knowledge is power’.My Uber driver sparked up at this point and told me that he tells everyone this, but so many people believe that status or wealth are the true indicators of power; this frustrated him.

We started to chat about gaining knowledge, the ability to learn a new thing every day and appreciating a sense of ‘contentment’ if you have knowledge but may not have status or wealth. He continued to chat about his past, his ‘1st part of his life where his career was everything’, and now he has entered the 2nd part of his life ‘where contentment is everything’.

I asked if he had always understood the value of contentment and not comparing against ‘the Joneses’; he had not, he had learnt due to the ups and downs of life, but he so sorely wished he had learned it earlier so the 1st part of his life may have been happier, calmer, perhaps even easier.

Our conversation triggered the memory of The Resilience Project, in particular, the gratitude for ‘dis’. This was when I referred him to the book. I told him that he was my moment of gratitude for today, and for the first time ever, I tipped an Uber driver – the money was inconsequential; I just wanted to show my gratitude and not just tell him.

As a leadership coach, I have the privilege of meeting and working with amazing, everyday people every day, and again, I have referred this book countless times over the past three months.

Just yesterday, a client told me that the book had ‘snapped him back into life’; he told me his mind is clear – he is focused on both physical and mental wellness, and he is clear on how he shows up at work and home and most importantly, he is taking time to practice G.E.M – gratitude, empathy and mindfulness; this he believes is the key to his success and happiness.

I have had other clients tell me they have removed social media from their phones to ensure they are more present at home and work, or they have reflected on their mindset and realised they were absorbed by what they did not have, what they were not achieving, how their teams were missing the mark, how they felt excluded from key decisions, how they are ‘stuck’ in their role and couldn’t move forward; and so the list went on. And since listening to or reading The Resilience Project, they have been able to reset their thinking, mindset, and attitude.

Being a fanatical AFL follower (go Blues), I was aware of Richmond star Dusty Martin and his focus on G.E.M, which spread across the club; he said in 2017 after winning the highest AFL individual honour, the Brownlow Medal, “The Resilience Project” journal has helped me be calm and in the moment this season,” Martin said. “It’s also helped me to feel grateful for all I’ve got … for the opportunity to play footy for a club like Richmond.”

Dusty Martin is a tough football player; he plays with intensity and, to some, can look threatening. Yet, he attributes much of his success to a change in mindset – not by working impossible hours, not by deferring blame to others and not by making excuses.

Our lives are seemingly busier than ever, our work can feel overwhelming and demanding, and it is easy to get caught up in the stressful rollercoaster of life. I get it. It is real, and so is the ability to practice G.E.M.

I am loving the feedback on the book: It made a significant impression on me, and it is rewarding to know that I can ‘pay it forward’ simply by making a recommendation.

As I arrived at the airport, my Uber driver jumped out of the car and asked if he could shake my hand and thanked me for chatting and for enabling him to learn something new today. He left me with, ‘I told you knowledge is power, and I feel powerful today’.

I would love to hear the insights and the ‘aha’ moments you experienced when you listened to / read The Resilience Project.

Kerryn Fewster

Kerryn is the Founder and Director of Change 2020. She has consulted extensively in the area of Transition and Transformation. She places emphasis on strategy development and solution implementation to minimise people and operational impacts associated with major change.

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