Life's Porcupines and Resiliency: Adapting to the Unexpected

Are you ready for the unexpected? Do you have the resilience needed to handle life's bumps and curveballs calmly?

One of the most valuable EQ skills of all is resiliency. Developing this emotional intelligence skill will positively change your life!

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Kodhi meets porcupineLife's Curveballs and Resilience

If you love dogs, you'll appreciate our unexpected encounter.

One of our Golden Retrievers got a little too curious on a hike.

Not only did he have a run-in with a porcupine but he went back for more! His grand adventure quickly turned to pain and discomfort and a big fat vet bill for us.

This was our first experience with porcupines. It was a bit unnerving, but the vet put us right at ease. They average 20 to 30 dogs every summer who have encounters with porcupines. We had no idea!

They even have a running bet each year for the most quills in any one dog. Our dog had around 40 quills; the winning dog so far had 500 quills removed—he was so stubborn and mad that he kept going back to pester the same porcupine!

What I took away from this experience was: life throws us the unexpected, and it doesn’t do any good to fight against the pricks. We may end up with even more trouble—like the winning dog!

Our Brains Are Wired to Avoid Pain

Why are our brains wired to avoid pain?

So we have an innate ability to adapt to change.

However, if we’re stubborn or have been conditioned to suffer, we can ignore something that’s bothering us, or we postpone tackling a problem until it grows out of control.

This porcupine incident reminded me to check in with myself and see where in my life I might be stubbornly holding on too tight and resisting change.

Deep dive: "How to Change Habits and Create a Life You Love!"

Resiliency and the bamboo tree.
Being Adaptable and Resilient Is Vital

I came across a quote that seemed insightful for my reflection.

In their book Super Brain, Deepak Chopra and Rudolf E. Tanzi state the importance of adaptability in our lives, especially when faced with the unknown. Using Einstein as a prime example, they said:

“You can measure a person’s adaptability by how much they are able to let go, remain flexible, and hang loose in the face of difficulty…."

Bottom line: If you want to achieve success in any field, become like Einstein.

Maximize your brain’s ability to adapt.

We don't always think of our brains as a muscle that needs exercise, but to keep ourselves poised for the unexpected, that's exactly what we need to do.

Exercise for the Brain: "Brain Fitness: Best 5 Brain Training Apps to Keep Your Brain Healthy!"

Self-Reflection Questions

  • Have you ever been the target of a porcupine experience in your life?
  • How well do you adapt to the unexpected?
  • Is there anything you’re resisting that keeps you going back for more quills?

Wherever you are in your life's journey, one thing is for sure: resiliency makes the hard knocks easier to navigate.

Learn the skills to be resilient no matter what life throws at you! Contact us and see how we might support you!

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Jennifer A. Williams / Emotional Intelligence CoachJennifer A. Williams / Emotional Intelligence Coach
Jennifer is the founder of Heartmanity and an emotional intelligence expert. She has two decades of EQ experience and is the author of emotional intelligence training and courses. As an emotional fitness coach, Jennifer teaches EQ skills, brain science hacks, and a comprehensive approach that gets results. She is happily married and the mother of three incredible grown children.

Posted in Brain Fitness, Mindfulness and Perspective

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