Curiosity is My Secret Ingredient in Resilience

curiosity blog

                            Curiosity makes me resilient

There is no worse call than the one telling you that someone you love has been hurt, has gone. Mortality is not an opt-in experience.

Having lived through the suicide of my best friend and even spoken about that journey in a TEDx talk, I was more aware of that than most. Yet most of us are unprepared to weather that storm and are expected to “bounce back.”

This led me to study what makes people have an anti-fragile career and life; one which allows us to grow stronger from adversity rather than be blown off track by it.

This year both of my parents passed away in the US. Back in Hong Kong, where I live, we have been working from home during a pandemic that is stretching into many months. What I learned from my research, from my life, which served me well, is the following:

Curiosity can see me through

Having a “growth mindset” can feel too abstract when you are truly in the trenches of grief or a setback. But an attitude of curiosity about how this will impact my life has been helpful. Rather than labelling things as devastating (they are), I can bring in questioning and an element of openness.

“How will I honour what I’ve learned from my relationships with these people in the rest of my life?”

Good things take time. Crappy things do too

Have you heard the adage, “good things take time?”

We often want a return to normalcy to happen as quickly as possible so that the things that pain us will go away. When you ask yourself what the greatest lessons in your life have been, often they are these same moments. Going into a new way of being, be it due to job loss, divorce, death or other challenges requires you to claw your way out of the cave and learn from it.

Your destination may change

Often, we have a sense that the hero’s journey we were on will stay the same. We are still reaching towards the golden ring and expect our setback to give some depth and color to how we will get there. But like all good stories, what we thought we wanted may change with additional wisdom. Be open to that possibility.

Resilience doesn’t mean “bouncing back,” it means bouncing forward.

I don’t believe there is a silver bullet; we all have our own path to travel. However, I do believe that the better your questions, the better your answers. Keep questioning. The answers to your own resilience are there.

I believe that curiosity makes me resilient.

If you like this article, you can download Diana’s “11 Ways to Future Proof Your Career and Life”.

*article first posted at The Resilience Initiative on August 10, 2020