12 Keystone Principles That Bolster #Resilience


(The following excerpt from 12 Keystone Principles That Bolster Resilience by Christopher Bergland recently appeared on psychologytoday.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

My book, The Athlete’s Way: Sweat and the Biology of Bliss, was recently featured in the “Brave New You!” issue of Oprah’s “O” Magazine. Below is a checklist of 12 keystone principles that will increase your resilience and help you stay brave in the face of adversity.

The Twelve Keystones of Resilience by Bergland

1. Close-Knit Human Bonds and a Supportive Social Network

2. Aerobic Exercise and Strength Training

3. Mindfulness and Meditation

4. Passion and a Sense of Purpose

5. Loving-Kindness and Self-Forgiveness

6. Laughter and a Sense of Humor

7. Curiosity and a Sense of Adventure

8. Pragmatic Optimism and Determination

9. Imagination and Creative Thinking

10. Music Playlists and Anthems

11. Gratitude and Magnanimity

12. Faith and Trust in Something Bigger than You. (Some might call it “God”)

One of my favorite celebrity encounters was with Debbie Harry at the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. At the time, I was training for some crazy ultra-endurance event and spent a lot of time running on the treadmills overlooking the Hudson river. One afternoon, I saw Debbie Harry wearing a pink cashmere sweater wandering around as if she was lost or looking for someone.

I’ve been a huge Blondie and Debbie Harry fan since I was a teenager and had recently seen her in concert. Her song Keep on Going wasn’t a hit, but is the ultimate song about resilience and was an anthem that I played religiously the morning before every Ironman triathlon competition.

I’m so grateful to Debbie Harry for being a trailblazer and really wanted to thank her in person. Even though I was very sweaty, I saw it as my one chance to thank her face-to-face … so, I hopped off the treadmill and said, “Excuse me, are you Debbie Harry?” She said, “Yes.” I responded, “I wanted to thank you for all the years of music. It’s inspired me through so many hard times in my life and brought me so much happiness. Your song Keep on Going has been an anthem that I play almost every day when I need to be reminded to never give up.”

I could tell that her eyes were sort of welling up with tears, and in one of the kindest gestures, she took my right hand between both of her hands and looked deeply into my eyes while saying, “Thank you so much. I really needed to hear that today. I’m so glad that song has inspired you.” It was such a tender but powerful moment. If you’d like to listen to Keep on Going, click on this link (link is external). The lyrics sum up the twelve points of this blog post perfectly.

© Christopher Bergland 2015. All rights reserved.



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