May 15

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When doing nothing is doing something

A few little hiccups were challenging my patience and resolve today.

Dipping into a book called “The Survivors’ Club” (which explores examples of how ordinary people have demonstrated extraordinary courage and resilience in times of mortal danger) I came across the following, describing the best survivors from the military: “No matter the adversity, the navy says, survival is a mentality, a way of thinking. Survival is also a lens, a way of perceiving the world around you…. Understanding that even misfortune gets tired and needs a break, [the best survivors are] able to hold back, identify the right moment, and then do what they need to do.”

Psychologists call this active passiveness – recognising when to press on and when to desist.

I wasn’t in mortal danger, but I took this advice to heart, retreated to my bed with a box of chocolates, a cup of tea and a hot water bottle for an hour. When I emerged I was back on form, in flow and ready to act.

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