By | Rajiv Jayaraman | Founder-CEO, KNOLSKAPE ; Author: Clearing the Digital BLUR, TEDx speaker, Chief People Officer, Talent Transformation
We all get ‘life lemons’ from time to time, don’t we? – health issues, relationship troubles, career issues, financial constraints, existential dilemmas etc. How do we make lemonade or lemon pie or anything else that tickles your fancy with them? In other words, how do we develop resilience to adversities and setbacks?
Martin Seligman, the famous psychologist, speaks about the 3 Ps that prevent us from mustering courage, healing, moving on and finding joy.
Personalization – We tend to personalize issues we face. This can take multiple forms – Why me? or I’m a failure or what will others think of me? or I must have had a role to play with this or I deserve this. We get into a negative loop that becomes difficult to get out of.
Permanence – We tend to think that the issue at hand will last forever. Sometimes, they do (as in the case of loss of a loved one). But then, life finds its own equilibrium post the event. That’s why we hear people say “This too shall pass”. Nothing remains constant in life, let go and go with the flow.
Pervasiveness – We tend to magnify issues and think that adversity or failure in one area of life is all-encompassing. We forget to remain grateful for what we do have, small pleasures that makes our lives rich and the support / guidance we are getting on a constant basis.
While there are 3 Ps to overcome, there is one P to totally embrace – Purpose. I find that people who have a strong sense of purpose tend to deal with adversities a lot better than others who don’t have a strong “why”. As Nietzsche elegantly says, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
Every adversity shows up as a learning opportunity. We have a choice to make – will we learn and grow out of the situation or will our spirits be crushed? So the next time life throws a lemon, overcome the 3Ps and learn to make lemonade 🙂