Learn: 3 Keys to Doing "Great Work"
Learn: Recentering

Explore: Focus, Courage & Resilience

In the last post (Learn: 3 Keys to Doing "Great Work"), I highlighted three attributes that Michael Bungay Stanier says lead to a life full of meaning and purpose: focus, courage and resilience.

The following thoughts and resources delve deeper into each attribute's role on the path of discovering and living my heart's true path.

Focus. With so many devices and media and activities available during any given moment, focus requires acute concentration. For me, mindfulness has offered the most valuable gateway for me to know myself better, to listen deeply to my heart and to reveal the clarity of my intentions. Meditation remains the most effective way for me to clear my mind and focus on my heart. (In the L+E+S archives, you'll find two posts on the topic of meditation—Learn: Meditation and Explore: Meditation.)

Courage. During times of personal growth, fear follows me like a shadow. When I'm able to focus on the physical and emotional feelings at the core of my fear, I can discern my fear's signal: The fear may be warning me that I'm veering off track. Other times, the fear is a directional sign that acknowledges, Yes, this new experience feels scary, but following your heart's true path means wading through the fear to a beautiful meadow that lies on the other side. So I need courage to face my fears—of embarrassment and/or failure—and take that first step when the signs say "go." (Want to read more? Try this "how-to" post at Zenhabits.net, or read this piece about creativity and the fear of failure.)

Resilience. Once you've started down your heart's true path, you have to choose to keep going, even as obstacles come up. "Resilience," Michael Bungay Stanier explains, "is what gets you across the [finish] line." If I didn't believe so strongly in my heart's true path, I may already have given up publishing here at L+E+S. In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, writer and researcher Brené Brown lists resilience as a "guidepost" for living a wholehearted life based on courage, compassion and connection with others. Brown suggests that one way to to develop resilience is to practice "critical awareness," which kind of loops right back around to focus, don't you think?

Writing this post has been a good way for me to reflect on how focus, courage and resilience have been at work in my heart and my life over the past weeks and months. Where have focus, courage and/or resilience carried you through your own journey? Leave a comment below, on our community Facebook page or via twitter.


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