Adam Markel

How To Be Resilient In The Face of Tragedy?

How To Be Resilient In The Face of Tragedy?

Adam Markel

Co-Founder, CEO, Resilience Researcher & Leadership Keynote Speaker

About Adam

Adam Markel is a bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and business mentor who inspires organizations to discover the power of resilience. Adam Markel is a recognized expert in professional and personal reinvention. A highly sought-after keynote speaker, transformational leader, and business mentor, he guides individuals and businesses to capitalize on change and magnify their impact.

After building a multi-million dollar law firm, Adam became CEO of one of the largest business and personal development training companies in the world, overseeing more than $100 million in sales.

His unique expertise is in combining practical business tactics with accelerated learning strategies to embrace change, encourage innovation and increase sales for people and organizations worldwide. Adam Markel inspires, empowers, and guides people to achieve massive and lasting personal and professional growth, whether it be as a keynote speaker, facilitating corporate workshops or mentoring individuals.


Take home these learnings

1) The Concept of Being Change-Proof.
2) Exploring your Relation with Change.
3) Distinction between Balance and Harmony.
4) Challenges Faced by Leaders to Create Resilient Organisation.

Listen to the specific part


Episode Transcript:

Intro// · These past 2 years have taught us so much about Change and resilience that we can’t even imagine? So, What does it mean to be resilient in the face of a tragedy? · and, What does it mean to be change-proof? Does it mean that you know how to handle change, or you are preparing for those instances that when they occur, you have that mindset to deal with them? Welcome ladies and gentlemen welcome to the podcast The xMonks Drive. I am your host Gaurav Arora and our today’s guest is Adam Markel. Adam is an author of two books, a lawyer, and a consultant on Change Management and resilience. In our today’s episode, we are going to discuss topics around death, Change, resilience, and decision making. Let's get going. Outro// My two key takeaways from this episode are: 1. Look for Harmony rather than trying to create balance in life. Trying to create Balance is like Setting yourself up for a lot of frustration, and more failure than success. 2. Anything that depletes your energy, depletes your capacity, and impacts everything negatively. Btw, what’s your key take aware. Would love to hear from you. Please do rate this podcast and leave your review. It will help me to learn and serve you better. And I look forward to meeting you again next week with yet another interesting conversation. Till then take care and stay blessed. 00:03 Gaurav: Hi Adam. Such a pleasure having you here thank you so much. 00:08 Adam: Gaurav, to say it's wonderful to be here is an understatement. 00:14 Gaurav: It's an absolute pleasure to have you on this podcast. And I've been so looking forward to having you in this conversation. 00:23 Adam: As am I, 00:25 Gaurav: You know, Adam, I just loved the recently launched book that you have around change proof. And I've heard so much about you. And while I was doing all the research, I said, I would ask about this, I would ask about that, I would ask for this, I would ask for that. Let's try and pull everything together. But let's begin from your childhood. If you can share an episode from your life that brings a smile on your face today, as well. 00:53 Adam: I'm gonna put it, in terms that are really relevant for me today not only as a father but as now as a grandfather. My wife and I are really blessed to have a seven-month-old grandson. Wow. So I'm going to go back to and one of the things that I love that we participate in, is his bedtime, the ritual around his going to sleep at night. And so one of the things that I remember from my childhood that brings a smile to my face was the times when I was going to bed, my dad was in the living room, we lived in a small apartment, I shared a room with my younger brother, and my dad is a writer. And so he would be writing at night because he had a full-time job during the day cuz there wasn't a lot of money in writing. Probably still not a lot of money in writing, especially creative writing. And so he would be at the typewriter at night. And I would be going to sleep listening to the sounds of his typing on the keys, you know, before computers this was, but he had a certain way of creating, and that is that he would have music playing. So he had lots of wonderful music, albums back then, which have made a return, people are listening to vinyl albums again, which is really cool. So listening to this wonderful music, and it was a very eclectic, varied selection of music. While he was busy creating, that was the sound of my was almost like the bedtime story. And the lullaby if you will, for going to sleep at night. And that, just thinking about that, brings a smile to my face. 02:47 Gaurav: I'm just wondering, what kind of music I used to listen, as a child. You know, Adam, on several occasions, you have mentioned that you credit much of your success to the principles you have learned during your eight years act as a Jones Beach lifeguard in New York. Right. Tell me more about that. 03:13 Adam: Yeah, I will. You know, I've got it's interesting, you should bring that up because I have my old lifeguard whistle here. It's kind of strange. I started working at this place called Jones Beach, which in New York is the south shore of Long Island, it's on the Atlantic Ocean. So there are lots of waves and often very strong ripping currents. And many, many people that would go to this particular beach, July and August are the summer months in New York. And I work there while I was a student. I worked there while I was a teacher. I was teaching middle school English for a couple of years. And even when I went back to school, again, became a student. And when I was in law school, I was working at Jones Beach. And I was 19, when I started in the very first summer that I was on the beach. This whistle played a very important role in my life because lifeguards communicate using whistles, at least they did at that particular beach. You know, we were 20 lifeguards, there were almost 100,000 people on a nice Saturday or Sunday. That's the kind of a crowd we would get there. And so the way we would communicate through that noisy environment was with this whistle. So one sharp blow-blast with the whistle meant we were looking to get somebody's attention, two have those same blasts would mean that we were in going to get in the water to make a rescue. And we were frequently making rescues at the beach because we had very strong rip currents and we had many many people We're not very good swimmers. But on this particular day, I heard three whistles now even demonstrated, we right now, three of those very sharp blasts, which we never heard it the beach or very, very, very infrequently because it meant that someone was under the water or someone was submerged, we couldn't see them. And they've been under and now we have to clear the beach and do a search for them, a search and rescue. And on this particular day, I heard those whistles and are the person who was leading our team of lifeguards got us organized and we got in the water to do the search, and I still remember the way we did it, we formed a straight line that was perpendicular to the shore itself. And we would dive down about 10 feet pretty deep into the ocean, and then swim into the current, into the current like the current is going to be coming toward us. And then we come straight up. And then when everybody's head popped up, you know we had all of our lifeguards up, we would do it again. And again. And again. And again. We did that for well, more than an hour. Wow, we were cold. We were exhausted. But we didn't we didn't stop we kept going and going. And then when, fortunately, we heard the whistles to call us back in again. And it was Gaurav, it was a terrible feeling. Because we hadn't found him, this young man that had gone down. 06:41 Adam: And we didn't want to stop searching. But we had to get back out of the water. And it was a pretty devastating moment is the first time that I ever experienced death personally, that close to see his family grieving on the shore. And, and I remember to this day, what our leader said, our captain said to us, when we got out of the water, he led us in a moment of prayer, silence. And when we opened our eyes, he looked at us and he told us that no one goes down in our water. Nobody goes down on our watch. And then he said some words that I will never forget, he looked at us and he said that you either make the save, or you die trying, which was a very intense statement. He was very upset. It was a devastating moment. And not only that, but we actually had to get back up into our lifeguard stands to finish out the day, because there were all these people that had been called out of the water. And now we couldn't find this man. We allowed people to go back in the water. And the Coast Guard took over the search, we became went from search and rescue to a search and recovery mission. And we had to work, we had to get back up and do our jobs that day. And we had to be resilient. Although I wouldn't have used that word back then we had to learn how to be resilient in the face of a tragedy in the face of something that was really unexpected, and, and devastating. And we did in part of, you know, you mentioned this book change proof, which I have this change proof shirt on as well. Part of what I talked about in this book, or lessons that I learned that day and that summer, about how it is that you develop resilience, even in the face of that kind of loss, that unexpected circumstance that just kicks you in the gut. So that was the catalyst that we could talk about many of the things that I did learn. But that was the pivotal moment if you will. 09:06 Gaurav: You know, while I'm listening to you the memory that came to me, and it became so much alive is, a few years back, one of my cousins lost two of his sons, 24 and 25. In one such accident in Goa. And when we got the news, as I'm sharing right now, I'm getting shivers because in that moment, didn't know what to say, what to do, how to respond. In that moment, we didn't know how to share this with others and what to say to that cousin of mine because those two sons of his, one was 24 and 25. They got their first salaries, they went to Goa to enjoy and what we got was the news that both of them clowned. First, the first one, and then the second one went inside to save his elder brother. And what we got was two dead bodies. For me, what came up so much alive at that moment was that how uncertain life is, and we believe that we have got choices to make. And that one episode shifted everything for me that we don't have choices. We don't have choices in our life, we only have choices to respond to what is happening. Adam what happened in that moment, what shifted for you as an individual. And I'm not talking about as a leadership consultant, as an author, as a lifeguard that you were and you are, as an individual, what shifted for you. That's 11:00 Adam: now I look back on that now, and it gave me a different view of how of life works. You know, to that point, I think I was living in a bit of a dream, this dream that maybe I was seeing through TV through movies. That was a very rosy, you know, positive picture. And, and it was a pleasant dream. That day, that moment, I saw a nightmare, I saw a nightmare for other people. And, and that was a shock. And I, I don't, I wasn't able to process it. In that moment. I don't think many of the people that I worked with, we were mostly young, young lifeguards, but we had older people there too, in the leadership. The captain and lieutenant and bosons, these are names of people, you know, positions in a lifeguard crew. They were older men in their 40s and 50s. And for them, the dream, the dream that I was under was one that probably had not existed for them since some much earlier time in their lives. But for me, and for a lot of the people who were about my age, this was, a there was a shock. It was a shock to the system. So we, absolutely had to adjust. And, and we did, and we did with the help of the people around us. I don't remember there being any, discussion about how we were feeling and I look back on it now. And they're, you know, we're, we're living in different times, I feel like our children, my children, and even my grandchild now are living in much more conscious times. You know, we have great problems in this world that we're living in, and, and seemingly greater problems every day. Seemingly greater uncertainty is with us. But yet, I have a hopeful heart as my wife would say. And part of that hope, fullness, and hopeful heart is that my inner my instincts, my inner knowing says that we are a more conscious society, a more conscious world. So people talk about their feelings today. When I was 19 years old, that wasn't a thing. You know, the people I worked with on that beach. The older men were either firefighters because they had time to be able to do that. They had flexible schedules. They were teachers who had the summers off. We had a few lawyers. As I recall, it's funny enough that I became a lawyer shortly after that. And then there were students about my age who had the summer that they could do that work. So yeah, there was no discussion of how we were feeling. This is no way to sort of work with the energy or move. Move the emotion. 14:45 Gaurav: You know, this is so interesting because a journey that started as a lifeguard to becoming a lawyer, then becoming an author and a consultant who would go and teach about business performance, money, entrepreneurship and then also, on several occasions, you have spoken about that the most important, impactful thing is self-love. Man, how do these things fit together for you? 15:18 Adam: You asking me to summarize my whole life 15:25 and we are just getting started. 15:28 Gaurav: It's a really interesting question. I mean, look, I don't believe in that things should stay the same. I have written a book called Change proof, in part because the one constant that I've seen close up in my own life has been changed. But it's also the great constant in the world, in the universe, nothing stays the same, it's things that that are evolving, evolve, because they change and things that stay the same, things that stagnate are often in a state of entropy, or are dead. Yeah. And so because change is the law of manifestation in the world, in the universe is the way I would look at it. You know change is the one thing that we must learn to work with, that can't avoid it, certainly. But rather than just simply tolerating it, or trying our best to resist it, to fight it, we have to learn to actually work with it, and be at peace with it, and even utilize, so go back to that beach. What happened on the beach was that someone got caught in a riptide. And for people, you know, maybe not know what a riptide is, it's a current that is pulling from the shore from the beach out outward, into the deep, deeper water. And we had a lot of those rip currents on the beach that I worked at, and they would change, they would be there one moment and then in the next day be gone. And in the end, just like in mother nature, the tides were changing, the currents were changing, the wind was changing, everything was constantly changing. So as a lifeguard, you had to be very alert to the fact that the changes were happening. And you had to anticipate and be ahead of them at times. And, and often what we would see is a person that was caught in one of these rip currents would immediately start to swim to get to shore, they would swim against the current, they would resist the current, they would fight the current. And then what would happen is for most people, they would become exhausted trying to do that because they couldn't do it successfully. Yeah, it was too much to fight the current of that, of that rip current. And so at a certain point, when they got exhausted, you could see it come over them. That there, there was tremendous fear in that moment. They would look, look up and you could literally see it from a lifeguard tower, that there was fear in their face now. And that's when we had to get in the water and get to them. And usually, we were getting to them before that happened. Because we knew that that's what was going to happen. So it became a great metaphor for me in writing this book and thinking about my life and the changes that I've undergone that it is again, it is futile to resist and fight change. We have to learn to relate to it differently. And in answering your question. I have been very adept at relating to change in my life. And, and I've been resilient in the face of things that change, as well as the changes that I've wanted to make like I was a lawyer for 18 years. And I was good at being a lawyer. I was successful. I made a lot of money as a lawyer, I helped a lot of people. 19:25 And I also could feel many years into my practice that it was destroying, that it was causing me personal harm. And that I could feel that that and I wouldn't have used these words back then. But that somehow my soul was being damaged in the process. So you could be a great lawyer and you could do amazing work, and I am still a lawyer I don't practice any longer. Some years ago I wrote a book called Pivot, which is a book about reinvention how you reinvent your career and other areas of your life. And it tracked the two-and-a-half-year period where I was making this conscious decision to change my career path. The kind of changes that we're talking about today so far are the ones that you plan that nobody planned. Nobody planned for this pandemic, Right Gaurav. People didn't plan to have two years of isolation and disconnection, and uncertainty, nobody planned for that. It just happened. Just like on the beach. We didn't plan for that event. And, and yet it happened. 20:38 Gaurav: You know, this brings me to the next question. Since we're talking about change, we're talking about resilience, and there are so many books written on change. And yet, it's something that I've never understood. You know, I was talking to a friend of mine some time back, and he's one of the most successful professionals that I know of. He's the country head of one of the FMCG companies in the country. He said, one of the most important things that you need to take care of is the transition from one job to another, from one role to another, from one country to another. And yet, that's not very smooth, always. That's not very comfortable always. I do understand that when we are dealing with organizations when we are when you are dealing with your career. Let me just take you back to that beach again, Adam. How would you explain change to the family of that person, who was pulled into that rip current that you have been talking about? 21:53 Adam: Yeah, I sense where you're going with the question. And let's go there together. I mean, my first statement would be you don't teach a family that's lost a child about change. They can teach you about it. 22:12 Gaurav: That's exactly I'm wondering because, yeah, I don't know how I do that. 22:18 Adam: But here's the thing, right? There's a period where we're in shock. I mean, I was in shock. And we weren't in it wasn't my brother, it wasn't my son. We were in shock because we witness this happen. And so it was impossible, on some level. For me to fully empathize with what they were feeling. We had compassion. And that makes total sense. But we couldn't really understand what they were experiencing. It's here's the thing that how I would approach it from the standpoint of what's universally so. That's it a loss. That is incomprehensible. Yeah, as a parent, the thought that that could happen can happen has happened. And I have a dear friend as well, who lost his daughter in a tragic accident. Not two children, but one is left with us. He had two children, and he has a daughter who's still with him. And you know, there's a process for grieving, that takes precedence over everything. And that our ability to go through the cycle of grieving a loss like that, yeah, is going to be paramount. But what I will say is this, that's more universal, change, both planned and unplanned, both positive and something other than that is something that you can set your watch to, you can count on it. I can't tell you what it will be any more than you can tell me. We don't have a crystal ball. But the one thing I know as a certainty Gaurav, like I know my own name is that change is going to happen. Again and again. And again, the disruption and the changes that we've all faced over the last couple of years. This is not the last time we're going to be faced with those kinds of disruptions or changes. They've been pretty intense, but they may not even be the most intense in terms of what the future holds. So we can count on the fact that we're going to be tested again, the one thing that we can do now is to prepare for that moment, not knowing what that moment is going to look like, specifically. And that's, to me the concept of becoming change proof is that you, you create your resilience now, you develop your resilience now before you will need it next. And so what's the difference between a family that has a loss like that, who have been working on developing their resilience throughout their, throughout their lives, or had been preparing themselves, not for that particular tragedy, but just for the fact that life isn't necessarily going to be an easy road, it's not a predictable road, you know, it's uncertain. And so people that prepare themselves in that way, they meet those challenges differently than people that have not prepared and are then taken very much off guard. And, and, you know, there's many, many people that you could probably tell or know, who've had similar tragedies in their life, maybe they were abused as a child. You know, alcoholic parents are physically abusive, mentally abusive, and one person comes out of that family. And they are themselves abusive. They have substance abuse issues, they hurt, intentionally hurt other people, you know, that's how they're living. And they have a pretty good excuse, if you will because they were abused as a child. This is nothing more inexcusable to me than the abuse of a child. That's nothing. 26:47 So that's where they're at. Another person comes out of a very similar circumstance, even more extreme perhaps, and they are giving of themselves to other people. They don't abuse anyone. They've found a way to find fulfillment in their life happiness, even in their life, prosperity in their life. What's the difference? Yeah, of course, you know, two different outcomes. Same, same scenario, you know, so, to me, that's what we have to be thinking about the next. The next misadventure, the next disruption. What can we be doing now? To be prepared for that? Yeah. Yeah. 27:26 Gaurav: Yeah. You know what, this is so fascinating for me knowing about myself as I'm listening to you, where we spoke about my cousin. A few days back, there was a news that says the Satya Nadella. has lost his 26-year-old son. I've been reading a new book called consciousness and The Absolute. It says, “We go through the grief and the sorrow of losing someone because we identify ourselves with the body and the mind without realizing that we are beyond than that”. You know, as much as I understand at the cognitive level, and yet a part of me is not been able to be at peace with this entire process, and how every time and I shared about my cousin, and I actually experienced so much of emotions. Probably I'm not that mature enough problem yet to go through my own share of experiences, 28:24 to grasp what it means to get ready for the change at that level. 28:33 You know you said something so beautiful in that book. And as I'm just listening to you right now is that is making sense. I think that's the direction I would love to take in my life, where you spoke about just explore, take a pause, and take a pause with your body. Ask that your mind and your heart and bring a shift, where you spoke about change with your spirit. And before that what is really important is to explore what's your relationship with change? And when you talk about what's your relationship with change, Adam what does that mean? How can I explore my relationship with change? On one hand, it's the change of losing somebody in your life. It could be a change of wear recently, one of my nephews has moved to Canada for his higher studies. On the other hand, the shift that's happening in the organization, right, so there are different changes that's happening, every moment. So what does that mean when you say, explore your relationship with change? 29:40 Adam: Well, I think the question you've asked is a perfect place to begin. Because I don't know that people consciously choose to ask that question and explore that territory. What you're referring to in the book is a process that we call - Pause, Ask, Choose, and this is what you've described that you take a pause so that you can create inquiry and ask the kind of questions that you don't ask when you're in a reactive state. So it's a very empowering place to be to ask questions because so often it is that when I'm either delivering a keynote presentation, or even sometimes in a process, like a workshop, for an organization, I'll ask people to pick a challenge or pick something that's, that's causing them discomfort, agitation, anger, and ask them to then pause for a moment, take a breath or two, to clear the space, get to a place where just for even a moment, you're not judging. It's right. It's wrong. It's fair, it's unfair, just to be neutral. So even in something like as you were saying something like losing, losing a family member, very difficult to be in a place where you don't think that's unfair, that you know that to question god or to question others or to be angry, and, you know, so to be neutral to get in that pause is very powerful, even for a few breaths, to be without, without any judgment, so that you can ask questions. And there's so many great questions like you and I. Last time, we met, I told you, I had an unexpected accident, I was on vacation with my wife in Mexico. We were in the last hours of our trip before we were going to head to the airport and fly home. We live on the west coast of California. So it was a couple of hours in a plane. And I went in the water I went in the ocean here I am telling you the story about the lifeguard. I'm a lifeguard, I'm a swimmer, I've been swimming in that ocean all week long. On the very last day, two hours from our leaving time, I get in the ocean. And I ride this wave up to keep my head above this wave this very big wave unexpected. I hadn't seen a wave-like that all week long right at the shore, right at the shore and I was in the water just to get cooled off. I even went in with my glasses on I had no intention of swimming. I popped myself all the way to the top of the wave and it slammed me down. And I mean, it drove me like like a hammer on a nail into the ground and broke my knee. You know, it's like a very unexpected thing. But as I was crawled out of the water on the sand, and I was laying there the first thoughts within a minute that I had Gaurav, I mean, this is true. I looked at my knee, knowing that I’ve broken something was really, really wrong with fine with my body, you know? And I said, What can I love, In this moment? No, it sounds strange it for some people will say what. But I looked, I paused and I looked at my knee. And I said what can I love in this moment? Because I knew that I could have a lot of fear, in that moment. I could be thinking about my, I'm a keynote speaker, I travel around the world, I was going to be visiting my daughter in England, all of these things, you know, that potentially were going to disrupt my finances, my business, my commitments, my relationships, all of these things. 33:57 But my mind went to what is there to love? What can I love in this moment, and I knew immediately I can love my knee. I can put love into my knee. Because my knee wants love much more than it wants fear in this moment, there’s enough, there’s enough. That's that is happened. That will take its course. But to make matters worse, or make them better. It was my choice. I chose to make matters better. And my kids have been you know, remarking about it and kidding me about it. We gave my knee a name. His name is Charlie. And I started putting love and sending love to Charlie from that moment. I was chatting very, very fast recovery. 34:47 And how was Charlie doing now? 34:49 Charlie's good man. I'll be walking around without the crutches in another week. So, but that's a good example of what we're talking about. pause and ask, so that you can choose, our life is my life, I'll say I don't want to speak for anybody else. My life is a product of the choices that I've made. Everything in my life, my home, my relationship, family, business clients, is just a product of the decisions that I've made throughout my life. And the mistakes that I've made I have, I have the fruits of those mistakes. Now, the errors in thinking, decision making, I have the proof, and the fruits of those mistakes as well. So our decision-making is very key, especially like in business, for example, but in life, I mean, we're a product of those decisions. So wouldn't it make sense that if you're going to work on something intelligently so, that you'd work on your process to make decisions? Yeah, so And to tie it just one moment back to this idea of change, and being resilient in the face of change, that when people are faced with change, they make poor decisions, or have they make poor decisions in the face of change, just like that person in the water, trying to swim against the current swim against the tide. They make poor decisions in the face of change out of fear. People approach these changes these uncertainties, these situations that are outside their control with fear. And when they do that, their decision-making goes right down the drain bottom. 36:30 Gaurav: Yeah. So Charlie, I would love to know, oops Adam would love to know more about what you've spoken about in that book as well, where you're talking about resilience for self-resilience for the organizations, you spoke about resilience for the teams, you have spoken about harmony as well and beautiful distinction that you have been able to create for harmony, as well as balance. There's something that I loved in the book is when you spoke about becoming change-proof. You know, as you were mentioning about for lifeguards looking at somebody you were the person who have fear on his face, you would get to know that and you will not wait for that moment rather, you will jump you will dive in and make the necessary action so that you could pull that person out similarly becoming change proof is extremely important. What kind of practices one can bring in his or her life to become change proof? 41:38 Adam: It's like you're saying is it's the advanced preparation we talked about earlier that you prepare for it before the event occurs. And when it comes to resilience, people think that you're resilient if you can endure whatever it might be this difficulty, this disruption, this tragedy, if you can just endure it, you can bounce back from it. That makes you resilient. But we've been studying this topic and this book is based on the research of more than 3000 leadership assessments, we have a very simple resilience assessment that takes three minutes, And that's why people take it, frankly, because it's just so it's so quick, it's three minutes to 16 questions. And what we are able to determine from this assessment is where people are resilient, and where they're lacking in resilience in four specific zones, Mentally, Emotionally, Physically, and Spiritually. And so it is vitally important that we have a baseline for where we're starting from. But what we know from those leadership assessments and that research is that resilience is not born or enhanced by our capacity to endure, it's actually enhanced by our rituals for recovery. Besides have to have developed our rituals for recovery, before we need to recover. Hmm. 43:17 Gaurav: You know, I'm not surprised because while I was going through the book, I had to revisit the first page and say, am I reading this book on change proof? Or am I experiencing something which is spiritual for me? Because there are moments when I read that I experience the feeling of equanimity, I experienced tranquility. Because when you're talking about get ready for the change, and just witness what's happening in front of you, and how do you relate with that? What are those moments that I need to dissociate with? What are those moments I need to actually watch my own emotions? You've spoken about harmony in your book. And in my limited experience, Adam, I've not read anything around that. The way you have explained it, and the way you have explained talents as well. So if I may request you to help me understand the distinction that you are, you have created in your book between balance and harmony. 44:23 Balance to me is used in a way that's not helpful to people, especially in the context of wit, where we say work-life balance. 44:31 Yeah. And I’ve never understood that Adam, by the way. 44:35 Adam: Right, It is. It's a bit misleading. Yep. But I like to think back on what his balance in its physical form. You know, you think when you were a kid, you were on a teeter-totter. And that in the goal was to be able to keep both people their feet off the ground. You had to create this balance right now, but you couldn't keep the balance for very, very long as you know. If you think about somebody at the circus, you know, is walking on a tightrope they have this pole, and they're walking on this thin, little wire, you know, and there's a net underneath them in case they fall. And it's possible to stay in balance when you've been practicing in that way, but again, for limited periods of time, so to try to balance, to create balance in your life, I think is setting yourself up for a lot of frustration, and more failure than success. And people often referred to yin and yang as a symbol of balance, but my understanding is it's not balanced. It's the symbol for harmony. It's the interplay of different energies, male and female, for example. Balance is almost impossible to attain and maintain, yet harmony is something that we can create, and, and, and sustain over time. 46:04 Gaurav: And that is possible, even without balance. 46:08 Adam: Yes, yes. Because even in a, so for me, a good day, is not the perfect amount of one thing balanced with something else, like the perfect amount of conversation with the perfect amount and equal amounts to balance it of not 46:28 speaking. 46:31 That's even to say it sounds sort of silly, right. But that's what balance would seem to be implying. Whereas harmony is, there's moments of the day when it feels good to express. And there are other moments of the day when it feels good to simply be in stillness or to be listening. And the interplay of those things isn't an exact one part to one part like you're making a cocktail or something. And I and the finding that harmony it's a wonderful experiment. It's something that you can attain and can and can sustain when you're conscious of it. But if you're seeking something that you can't attain, like balance, well, then you're it's like you're chasing after something you'll never have. And that is to me. Foolish. 47:27 Gaurav: You know, for the longest bit of time, I’ve struggled to understand this concept of work-life balance, because for me, there's nothing called work-life balance for as long as I'm happy doing what I'm doing. For me, that's good enough. So going forward, I'm going to replace this term work-life balance with work-life harmony. You know, for as long as I am at peace with my own self, I think I'm moving in the right direction. 47:52 Adam: Yeah, I mean, the thing is, we can work. I think what the pandemic did for a lot of people that I was fortunate to have been doing before this is it gave them an opportunity to find the times of their, in their days when work made sense. There are some people who love to work at 10 o'clock at night, 11, 12 1. They're just so in their creative flow. But that's not when the office is open. No, that's not when, if you were in a nine to five job or something like that you would go into the office, you know, the office would be closed at 10-11 o'clock at night. No people wouldn't be expected to be working then. But for you, that's your creative time. Yeah. So harmony is, is being able to find the times of the day, that makes sense for you to be at your creative best to be able to add value in the marketplace and to others. And that's not again, a balance thing. It's about finding what feels good in your life. 48:57 Yep. Yeah, finding a sweet spot for yourself. Now let's extend this conversation and we are talking about resilient organizations. What do you think, what are the possible challenges a leader goes through to create resilient organization to create resilient team around him or her? 49:54 Adam: Yeah, it's such a great question. I mean, the first thing for me is that a leader has to recognize that an organization, his or her organization is only as resilient as the individuals that work in that organization. So it becomes a resilient organization, because there's a commitment to assisting to cultivating resilience on an individual by individual basis. And that is a shift in a value set. When we talk, when we talk to organizations, often we're speaking about, does it make sense for your organization to now add to its values and create a value around resilience? You know, they value transparency, some value trust, they value, you know, client care and taking. But often we find that resilience is not one of those things, that's part of the value set. And, and so it's kind of revelatory, in that respect. And you know, it's good. It's a good opportunity to great conversation initially, to see the light bulb moment for a leader that goes, Ah, okay, so this is something we can add this is we can operationalize this, this can become part of our, our culture. And I'm like, Yes, that is the goal is that it does become part of your culture. And in doing so, some of the things that we have to grapple with is, for example, permission, because so often it is people do not feel they have permission to actually create the harmony between their work and their non-working lives. Precisely. 51:34 Gaurav: Precisely, you know, and that's exactly what my question is, it is one thing to put values on the wall. It's altogether a different thing to put it in action. Now, let me give you a scenario. So here's an organization which is trying to create a resilient organization, one of the values that the organisation has is to create resilient organization. So that means we need to have resilient people. Now, the moment the leader is trying to shift something in his or her life, that team around him or around her is not yet ready. Because what I'm listening is, when you would like to bring some change within yourself, it's not only about changing the skill set, changing the tool set, changing the mindset, it's actually changing the consciousness of an individual. What if the team members that you're working with they're either not willing, not open, or don't know how to raise that consciousness? How to deal with that kind of situation? 52:38 All right, let's see, we'll encapsulate this really quickly. The first thing that we have to do is recognize that as we said earlier, people are almost predisposed to resisting change in some way, shape, or form. Because they if you say change means I will sometimes ask people to feel 53:00 discomfort. 53:01 What else change means? 53:07 Letting Go, uncertainty. 53:11 And I've heard hard work, hard work. More work. Exhaustion 53:18 ripping off my old skin. 53:19 Yeah. Yeah. Fear, fear. And so when anxiety, 53:25 stress, 53:28 and on and on. When that's the way we define what change means it's so easy to see why people resist it. So if you have to immediately start with the, I like to call it the first domino. And that first domino is the way people see change. So one of the things that I initially say is, we get a shift from how people see change as being something drastic, something big, something threatening something scary to something that's small, tiny, infinitesimally small, somebody could not intimidate anybody. Something, anybody can wrap their brain around, wrap their arms around, something that is easy, not difficult. And, and that is a shift in how we perceive how you, you manage change. So on the change management side, we're talking about little small steps, tiny steps. But we all understand just like with a bank account, and you know, this is there's a chapter in this book change proof about the resilience bank account. Yeah. So there's this magic that people know of whereas Einstein called it a miracle. It's called the compounding effect. The things over time when you make small changes over time, you ultimately get this exponential hockey stick. Yeah, improvement. Over time, it takes time. But when you aggregate small changes, you produce transformation. The only thing that get in the way of transforming an organization for the better is the status quo. And that's what people hang on to. That's what we have to breakthrough. It's the first domino is to break through the status quo. Wow, we do that. And when we do that, we have these other options available, then you can open people up to how it is that we do develop resilience because resilience is done again, one baby step at a time. It's not done with one big elephant bite. Yeah, 55:33 Gaurav: It's so beautiful. Because you know, I often share with people, you're not resisting change. What you're avoiding is letting go of the image that you have attached to yourself. And when you're talking about Status Kill, that's exactly what we are talking about. And that's the biggest fear. So every moment either you can live your life from a space of fear, or you can live from a space of what is possible. 55:57 Gaurav: Yes, I mean, how do we know and attach attachment? It's its own conversation, right? Because attachment brings a great deal of suffering. Yeah. And the whole of life is a process of letting go. Ultimately, we let go of everything we have to. So wouldn't it make sense to start working on Mastering the Art of Letting Go Long before the day comes, Where you let go of it all. 56:24 You know, I have some understanding of letting go, Adam, but know, as they say, when the master is in front of you just learn as much as you can from the master. So here I am. How do you create a distinction between letting go and giving up? Because the end result is the same, and yet these two have got very different essence to it. Different energies attached to that. What are your views? 56:54 Well, if it isn't energy, there's a difference between the energy of resignation. Yeah. And submission and quitting. Giving up and surrender. Yeah. Surrender is a very different energy than beautiful 57:09 energy. Yeah. 57:13 And, and so yeah, it's, it's, it's an exploration we have to make individually. But when we ask when we pause and ask, then we have different choices, we have the opportunity to choose, but we don't pause to ask, we run through it. It’s like we run through the stop sign, we run through the opportunity to gain that, that awareness and that consciousness, before we decide where to quit quick, we go too fast. I know for me, I grew up in New York, I was a lawyer in New York for a lot of years. When I go too fast, the first thing that falls by the wayside is my compassion. You know, and we're in a hurry, or I don't say we I've been I've lived parts of my life in a great hurry. So, 58:05 and you lose a lot. And when you were choosing Hurry and letting go of the compassion, What were you moving towards 58:19 Adam: Always toward money, I mean, the hurry was toward getting things done for achievement for money for whatever you know, whatever comes with that, but the hurry also brings a lot of worry and worry is another thing that we could talk about for you know, hours on end, but worry in the resilience world for me, worry is depleting and when we are depleted, we make poor decisions, when we are depleted, we are more likely to make mistakes. So things that deplete us are not things that you know, it would be like not, you know, you have some kerosene in your house or you have you know, chemicals in under your sink to wash your dishes with would you drink them? Would you consciously choose to put them in water and take a sip? No. So you know that there are things that would, would hurt you that you choose not to do? Worry is a thing that you choose to do that you also know or maybe people don't exactly know, you have to perhaps find this out but it hurts you. It depletes your energy, it put depletes your capacity, it shortens the long , you know your the point in which you can perform at a certain level is impacted negatively by anything that depletes you. So why be depleted? They say. “Oh well Adam, what are you talking about?” We all get tired don't like Of course we do we all get tired, which is why we sleep while we rest. So, you know, in this book change proof, like I said, we start with this baseline of how resilient are we? And then what is it that we do to build ourselves up. So we are less depleted mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, you know, people, and again, that that assessment is wonderful because it gives an awareness of where it is currently, that we're falling off. So I'll say this over more than 3000 leaders from companies, fortune 52 startups have taken it. And the aggregate score of all those assessments is a 64. If I told you that your teams, today we're going to perform at 64% of capacity. What would you say about your ability to succeed in the marketplace? 1:00:55 Hmm. it's on the one hand, it's a sad situation. On the other hand, it's like she, you're telling me that we're doing as well as we're doing. And we're only playing at 64% of capacity. The opportunity is phenomenal in terms of what we could do to create so many things, just by moving the needle from 64 to 74-80. 1:01:26 Thank you so much. I think it's a good space to wrap up our conversation with this one big question is why am I resisting change and if I choose to let go of the status quo that I've been tied to what might be possible for me, and how can I nurture myself so that I can move towards resilience? Thank you so much. I think it was an absolute pleasure listening to you gathering your wisdom, getting your experiences and I hope your Charlie gets a recovery soon. So thank you so much. 1:02:02 Adam: My Charlie is already it's better by the moment and better by the by this conversation Gaurav and if it's something that serves your audience, people that want to take that assessment can simply go to 1:02:20 Gaurav: Definitely. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

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