3 qualities of super resilient people
The formula for resilience? Hope, grit, and amnesia.
SHAKA SENGHOR: The things I learned about resilience through my time in prison is that human beings, I believe, by nature, are very resilient, and often times we don't recognize our own resiliency until we're faced with obstacles and circumstances that challenge us and pushes us.
And it looks different for everybody. When I think about my journey in prison, I went through some very adverse experiences. I had some significant obstacles to overcome, including long-term solitary confinement, which they estimate is designed to drive a person crazy after 90 days. And what I found in that environment is that people figure out ways to cope and to survive and to get through when they're forced to do so. And, for me, I found that I was very resourceful when my back was against the wall and that resilience was also a choice. I had a choice in whether to give up. I had a choice in whether to fight for a second chance.
That type of resilience was inspired by other people. I read Nelson Mandela's autobiography, I read the poem "Invictus", I read Malcolm X's autobiography; I love autobiographies. But what I learned through reading is that, if you acknowledge what you're going through and you recognize that it is an obstacle, that it's that dark moment but you also realize there's light on the other side of that tunnel, then you can get through. And, to me, I think hope is probably the cornerstone of resilience. As long as you have hope you can come out on the other side of anything. Once you dim the light of hope there's no possibility of you coming out on the other side. And, to me, I think that's what resiliency is. I always looked at, if I focus on a purpose instead of the pain then I can get through to the other side. And that's how I live my life, and to me those things embodied what resilience really is.
Three of the ingredients toward being resilient is you have to be optimistic. Optimism is such an integral part of getting through adversity. I would say a second thing is really being resourceful and figuring out in your environment what are things, people or inspiring components that you can utilize to help you cope with whatever it is you're going through. And then, I think the third thing would be you have to have memory loss. Now that probably sounds crazy, right? But what I have found is that a lot of times we replay memories that no longer exist over and over in our head and what that does is it holds you hostage. And so once you begin to release those memories and recognize that you can never reclaim that space or that time or that experience then you can move forward in life. Because now you've taken the shackles off your feet and you're a lot more mobile, and I think in order to be resilient you have to not be thinking about what happened in the past and you really just have to be focused on what you need to do to move forward.
- Shaka Senghor spent 19 years in prison, seven years of which he was in solitary confinement – a punishment designed to drive a person crazy after 90 days.
- In his most adverse moments, Senghor took inspiration from the memoirs of great minds, learning resiliency from their words and stories.
- Resilience boils down to 3 ingredients: Optimism – you have to acknowledge it's a dark period with light at the end; resourcefulness – find aspects of your environment you can use to help you cope; and memory loss – stop replaying memories inside your head. It only holds you hostage.
To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.
I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.
- A group of mathematicians from the University of Vermont used Twitter to examine how young people intentionally stretch out words in text for digital communication.
- Analyzing the language in roughly 100 billion tweets generated over eight years, the team developed two measurements to assess patterns in the tweets: balance and stretch.
- The words people stretch are not arbitrary but rather have patterned distributions such as what part of the word is stretched or how much it stretches out.