Diagnosed with brain cancer, Australian Stuart Taylor fell from the corporate ladder to a hospital bed and was given a two-year prognosis. Fourteen years on, he says, “In many ways, my cancer diagnosis was a gift. It gave me a huge dose of awareness to step-change my approach to life. Clearly I was asleep at the wheel.” Rather than defeat, he chose resilience, founding Springfox in the process. Here are his top tips on weathering whatever life throws your way:
Stay in the present and when you lose your calm, exhale – “when in doubt, breathe out”. Stress exists when you perceive a gap between a challenge and your ability to reach that challenge. A resilient person will either reframe the thought to improve perspective or return to the present and seek help to resolve the ‘threat’.
Invest in yourself. Exercise 20 minutes for most days of the week, catch the sleep wave before 10.30pm most nights and get up at the same time seven days a week, consider a relaxation practice and never miss breakfast. A resilient lifestyle is key to building ‘match fitness’ for business.
Be optimistic and practise mindfulness. A resilient leader is able to view their world with a mindset of realistic optimism. It’s very difficult to consider your thinking style with a busy, frantic mind. So, the starting point is practising mindfulness for one minute, three times a day through slow, focused breathing.