Post by Frank Connolly 5th July, 2010
I have just read “Bouncing back with Changes” by psychologist and former Treasury & Finance – Director of People & Culture, Tony Vickers-Wilis. Given an ongoing interest in positive psychology and a disappointment with the often overly theoretical training offerings we get in this space, I was compelled to see what Tony had to say.
Born out of an intense curiosity about what it is that makes some people bounce back from severe adversity and others capitulate with seemingly lesser challenges, Tony has set out to not only describe the science behind being resilient but also too provide real life narrative against which the principals can be demonstrated.
The book is one in two parts. The first dealing with the extraordinary life of Jim Vickers-Willis. I won’t go into details here for fear of spoiling the narrative for future readers, but it is a home-grown and truly inspiring story. The tremendous obstacles that fortune had placed in Jim’s way and the means via which he overcame them provides real meaning to the word “resilience.”
The second part provides a simple and practical set of seven principals to enable individuals to bounce back when adversity strikes, as it almost invariably will for each of us at some stage. The principals account for the CHANGES in the title of the book, and form a simple but powerful recipe for addressing anxiety, depression, stress and providing an appropriate perspective on surviving and thriving.
A third component of the book is the range of practical exercises provided to the reader for self-reflection as the science behind thriving is explained. These provide the reader the time and space to pause and reflect upon how the science might apply directly to their own lives and associated problems. Through simply undertaking these reflective practices in the book, I’ve made a couple of decisions that will not change the course of history, but will certainly benefit me going forward.
I think what I like the most about the principals, is that they are not simply a means of addressing psychological problems, they are a ready made practical recipe for building a happier and more resilient life, even in the absence of major issues.
“Bouncing Back..” is a book about individual resilience and I hear through the network that Tony is currently working on a new book looking at organisational resilience. One which is sure to be in great demand.
“Bouncing back with Changes.” purchase a copy