How Do We Respond When Life Pushes Us?

By Fran Cherny , Nithya Shanti | Apr 24, 2019

Nithya Shanti and Fran Cherny share an interesting point about what it means to be resilient as a person and as a leader.


Fran Cherny: How do you define resilience?

Nithya Shanti: Resilience is the ability to keep a stable mind within the ups and downs of life. My favorite example of resilience is honey, honey in a bottle. You shake honey, you shake the bottle, and the honey doesn’t really move around much.


You shake water in a bottle, it splashes all over the place. In other words, when life is pushing you how easily do you get shaken, your ability to have an inner equilibrium. Another word for resilience for me is equanimity, a balanced mind, a mind that’s not so easily shaken by the ups and downs of life.

A simple example is during the day, someone’s going to praise you and someone’s going to criticize you. I’m just coming to Barcelona. I was at this travel conference, there’s a big conference happening, and I was talking to different about how you find the conference. Some people love the conference, “It’s going so well, really enjoy it.” One person came to me and said, “Yeah, just an ordinary conference. Nothing very special.” I said, “Oh, that’s interesting,” and I could see how different people are saying different things about the same event.

It’s always going to happen, no matter how we live our lives. Some people are going to like it, some people aren’t going to like it. Can you keep a balanced mind? That’s not about you, that’s about them. So I do my best and I leave the rest. I don’t keep waiting for everyone to acknowledge me and praise me, like me. That’s never going to happen. Resilience is about keeping that balanced mind.

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