On resilience, determination, and maintaining a positive mindset (no matter the circumstances)

Given the rapidly devolving chaos in the world right now, a question I’ve pondered repeatedly not just for the last two weeks but frankly the last several years is:

“Why is it that we don’t learn from past history?!”

Scrolling social media last week, I happened upon a very simple explanation for why history perhaps repeats itself:

Bad times create strong people.

Strong people create good times.

Good times create weak people.

Weak people create bad times.

And then apparently the cycle repeats itself over and over and over throughout human history.

While I believe current circumstances are more complex than this, there’s a lot of truth to this statement. I myself have been a product of “good times.” Having been a child of the 80’s and 90’s born and raised in the United States, I’ve never experienced true adversity. I’ve never worried about where my next meal will come from, I’ve never been bolted awake by the sound of air raid sirens and had to rush to a bomb shelter, and I’ve never experienced armed conflict on my home country’s soil. So according to the phrase above, if we were to drastically simplify, my upbringing during good times should have created a weak person.

I would argue that despite growing up during good times, I have still become a strong person who aims to create more good timesfor both myself and the important people in my life (which includes you, friend). And I don’t believe that’s by accident. Despite not having grown up with adversity and hardship, I’ve voluntarily chosen to make both a regular part of my life to develop something called “Obstacle Immunity.”

And I’ve also spent years actively working to improve my mindset such that I don’t waste my energy worrying about the little things because whenever stupid stuff that could create anxiety comes up during the day, I’ve developed the habit of asking myself the question, “Will this matter to me in five years?”

Below I’ve provided two of my favorite podcast interviews of all time that discuss both of these concepts in great detail so that we can develop the resilience and determination necessary to weather whatever unexpected obstacles might come our way and deter us from pursuing our goals.

On the subject of OBSTACLES…

In last week’s newsletter I wrote about what I believe are the two most essential things required to maintain consistent levels of productivity, no matter the circumstances – Having a purpose behind your actions and the ability to prioritize your most important values (such that your actions are in alignment with them).

This week I’d like to discuss another strategy to keep consistent momentum towards your goals that has been a recurring theme over the last several weeks of coaching calls with my Optimizer students. If you have an important goal you are pursuing, rather than simply writing down all of your to-do lists, creating time blocks, and constantly getting things done, have you also asked yourself:

“What is going to stop me from achieving my goals?”

Regularly asking yourself this question can often help you identify much more important and urgent tasks that need to be addressed. In my Optimizer coaching & mentorship program I teach the GO FAR framework to help my students develop a clear path towards their goals and an action plan to achieve them. And the ‘O’ in GO FAR stands for OBSTACLES.

No doubt with everything happening in the world right now there are plenty of obstacles standing between you and what you want to achieve, the least of which is the endless distractions in the news and the anxiety they produce. So below I’ve provided the exact podcast interviews that I teach my students during the OBSTACLES module of the program to help them develop the resilience necessary to maintain a positive mindset.

On Resilience, Determination, and Maintaining a Positive Mindset…

If you’re looking to fill your earbuds with some positive energy this week, here are my top recommendations for you:

How to Develop ‘Obstacle Immunity’ | with Spartan Race founder Joe de Sena

Rewiring Your Brain to Be Happier | with Shane Burcaw

And here’s a great article written by fellow Optimizer coach and TV editor Debby Germino to help you get back to the basics and regain a sense of control in a world that feels like it’s spinning out of control.

Tired of Holding it Together All the Time? Here are Five Basic Needs to Get You Back On Track

Before You Go…

If you are struggling to manage the overwhelm of the world right now, whether on a global level or simply your own world, I and my team are here to help you find the resources you need to not only survive but also thrive as a creative professional amongst the endless distractions and chaos surrounding us.

What can we help you find, friend?

BTW…I read every message I receive, so if you’re hesitating to respond because you think it’ll just get lost in cyberspace, I promise I will see your message and do my best to respond.

Be well.
Zack Arnold
Creator, Optimize Yourself

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”