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Success is not measured by how many times you get knocked down; it is measured by whether or not you choose to get up.

Your life is like a book, but it's non-fiction, rather than a fairy tale. Some chapters contain tales of great success and happiness, and some feature failure and sadness.

When you experience the inevitable challenging times in life, how do you react?

Do you wallow in self-pity and let the experience cripple you, or do you take the challenge head on and remain positive and bounce right back?

You can choose.

Many of the unpleasant events that happen to us in life are things we bring onto ourselves. Others, like being struck by lightning or being rear-ended on a highway, are events we can't control. But even these types of bad things do not need to keep us down for long. Though we can't prevent the bad event from happening, we can choose and control our reaction to it.

For example, if you're on your way to an important business meeting and you get a flat tire, how do you react? Do you get out of your car and curse yourself, the road, the highway department, and how rotten your life is, or do you assess the damage and fix the tire or call roadside assistance? No matter which reaction you choose, you still have the same challenge: a flat tire. You either choose to feel sorry for yourself, or you choose to fix the problem and get on with life.

Developing strong resilience is not something you can suddenly do in a day. It's a steady, ongoing process that takes time, effort and inner strength. In short, resilience is the process of reacting positively when you're faced with hardship, shock, difficulty, adversity, or even major stress, such as family and relationship problems, workplace disputes or money worries. It's how you get back on your feet after experiencing a challenging time in your life. What most people don't understand is that they are more resilient than they think they are, and often display great acts of courage and nobility without even realizing it.

Being resilient doesn't mean that you're immune to adversity or going through a rough patch. We all go through hard times, emotionally and sometimes physically. The thing is, you can't become resilient until you've gone through the mill a few times. In fact, the road to becoming resilient is more than likely going to involve going through the pain barrier more than once. It involves bringing together all your experiences, thoughts, and coping mechanisms to initiate changes in your character and moral fiber.

There are numerous factors which can help you build your resilience. A crucial aspect is having a loving and supportive family around you to help you deal with the hard times. A loving family is important as it will create a loving and trusting environment. A caring, positive family is also a great source of role models who can provide the love and encouragement you need to become a stronger person. You also need to have a positive outlook on life and an optimistic view of yourself. You need to be confident in your own strengths and abilities. You also need to be emotionally resilient by being able to understand and cope with very strong emotions and not react on impulse.

Developing resilience is your own unique journey because no two people will develop it in the same way, and no one can take the journey for you. According to many experts, Resilience is a muscle in the brain that requires exercising.

Below are some tips on how you can become more resilient:

  • Look after yourself: Focus on your own needs and how you feel. Do something that you like doing which also relaxes you. Exercise regularly and eat well in order to create a positive balance in your life. Think and act positive and avoid pessimistic people.

  • Maintain good relationships: Your family will be the first ones you go to for support. Keep a good circle of friends too. Get help and advice from the people close to you, people who care about you and will share your problems. Don't forget to help others when they're in need, as this will help to build your own character.

  • Be careful what you read, see and hear: You can't avoid the internet newspapers, TV, radio and magazines these days, however try to avoid all the negativity that's out there. It's good to know what's going on but there's no need to be constantly reminded of bad events again and again.

  • Nothing is impossible: If you take this view and a 'Can Do' attitude when you're faced with a problem, you're more likely to come out successfully on the other side. Don't admit to defeat at the first hurdle. Resist the temptation to give up. Consider yourself strong and able.

  • The only thing constant in life is Change. Things will never stop changing. Life will never stop changing. So you need to be aware of the things you can't change, the things you can change and the wisdom to notice the difference. Don't dwell on things or you'll end up constantly living in the past. You need to move on.

  • Think about what YOU want: What do you want to achieve? What are your goals? Write down what you want to achieve short, medium and long term, even if your goals seem small or trivial. Put some solid effort into achieving those goals and dedicate yourself to getting what you want.

  • Keep things in perspective: When you're experiencing hard times, try to consider the long term view. Try not to let it get out of hand by thinking that everyone and everything is automatically doomed. Have faith in your conviction and trust yourself to get through the pain stronger and braver.

  • Find out who you are: Many people often find they learn something new about their character and themselves whenever they come out of a bad patch. People who have experienced tragedies or personal loss tend to exhibit a greater sense of inner strength despite their vulnerabilities.

Resilience equates to inner strength; the strength to adapt to life's sorrows along a continuous journey of self-growth, discipline, discovery and evaluation. By developing strong resilience, you can lift your mind to new heights and unearth virtues which you never thought existed within you.

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