Since 2018 I’ve made it my mission to share what I learned about resiliency. Like Victor said, why do some people seem to thrive? And other people, you know that mom? They go to bed and pull sheets over their heads and you never see them again. So I really dug in and studied. But my journey started in 2016.
So these are the kids on the 6th of March 2016, they called it the tadpole. But the next day, on March the 7th, my youngest son Thomas chose to end his life. He was 18. Less than a month later on the 1st of April, my oldest son Nicolas also killed himself.
So, resiliency. So many people when I went back to work will look at me and say: “oh you're so strong, you're such an inspiration.” or “you're doing so well!” And I thought well, there's nothing special about me. And that curiosity led me to study, dig in, introspection, interviews, and reading. And I found that there were three common elements that made up a formula for resiliency and living a resilient life.
What are these magical elements? They’re not magic, they’re just a way of living.
So we start with your people. Who are your people that you can bear your soul to? People you can count on that will be there when you need them. Who are they, who are your people?
Let me give you an example from my experience. Not long after the boys were gone, I went back to work. And I drove home and got to the driveway and I started to get out of the car. And I got one foot out and I just could not move. Not one step more. And my husband was up at the garage and he saw me at the driveway. He said: what's wrong and are you okay? I couldn’t say anything. He got me as far as the garage, sat me down in the folding chair.
And I was babbling, it was gibberish, he couldn’t make any sense of what I was saying. All of the sudden he realized I had reverted to my mother tongue. I was speaking Czech. So he reached out to one of my people. He called my friend and my friend left his job site, dropped everything, and he rushed over. And he knelt there in front of me, holding my hands for an hour, talking to me in Czech. Helping me get over it until I can speak again in English. So that’s my people. Stop for a second and think about it. Who are your people? Who could you count on? But more importantly, who are you the people for? Who are those people that can count on you? That's one, next, Peace.
How do you find peace? Examples are prayers, yoga, meditation. For me, I get on one of my motorcycles. Because it takes total focus. Kind of like meditation right? To be totally focused on that activity. But more than that, sometimes I would ride out into the countryside. That way I can just cry and scream in my helmet because the neighbors won’t call the police if you do that. So how do you find peace? What brings you peace? You got to know to take a rest from that stress.
And then the third one is purpose. Think about it, back in the day, guys would have these long careers and then they retired 1-3 years down the road, they died. So what happened? People nowadays are living on and on and on because they have a purpose. They have a second career. They volunteer. Their wives throw them out and make them do Uber.
So find a purpose. If you don’t have one, go get one. Figure out what your passion is, what do you want to do. For me, it’s sharing what I’ve learned. Sharing it, so other people can live resiliently. It’s not a noun like they defined it in a dictionary, right? It’s a way of living. So think about it. Who are your people? And where do you find peace? And finally, if you don’t have a purpose, find your purpose.
Now what makes me so confident about all this? I’m standing right here in front of you. It’s my mission to help others. And I don’t know about y’all. I challenge y’all, if you're not living a resilient life right now, what are your next steps? What are you going to do, fix, change to live resiliently? I don’t know about you. But I’ve got my people, and I’m people for them. I know how to have peace, like on a motorcycle, and I just shared with you my purpose. Thank you very much.