Define your goal and know why you want it.
Imagine sitting on Santa’s lap and being asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” As an adult, you may have learned to respond in a socially acceptable manner. But if we dive deeper into the question, we can ask ourselves “What do I want? What are my dreams? What would fulfill me? What will make me happiest? What will fulfill my passions? What would serve me and the world around me? What would I love? What is best for me?” These are all great questions that require a truth that bubbles out of your heart and overflows onto others, brightening everyone’s path in the process.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Ann King.
Lori Ann King is the Amazon best-selling author of Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause, and a two-time contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her latest book, Wheels to Wellbeing, is a self-care guide and tool to help readers go from unbalanced, chaotic, and overwhelmed to a more balanced, calm, and happy existence. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her with her husband, Jim on their bikes, paddleboards, kayaks, or in the gym.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Sure. My name is Lori King and I currently live in Las Cruces, NM, although I grew up and lived most of my life in upstate NY. I have an eclectic background, having worked in recreation, marketing, and web development jobs. During the pandemic, my husband and I lost our two primary incomes, moved over 2,100 miles across the country, and dealt with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. It caused me to pivot toward focusing my efforts on more of my passion and purpose as a freelance writer, author, and speaker.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
My undergraduate degree is in Recreation and my graduate work was in Information Management. That allowed me to have a very diverse skill set with an eclectic background of jobs. It also gave me options for a “Plan B.” I recognized how beneficial this was when I got laid off due to budget cuts from a major university. I had been working as a computer consultant. I quickly fell back on my recreation degree, getting a job at a local YMCA where I rose quickly through the ranks, providing a well-needed pivot and paycheck.
Since then, I’ve learned about passive and residual income, where I can work smarter, not harder. With network marketing, I’m able to earn off the leverage of a team or network. As an author, I am able to earn royalties long after the work of writing and publishing a book is done.
What I’ve learned is that it helps to diversify, and have options. Nothing in life is secure these days, so it helps to know how to pivot and do what it takes to survive and thrive.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
What makes me stand out is probably my belief system.
- I believe humans can be fierce competitors or powerful collaborators. We choose.
- We live in an abundant universe and we will get further with collaboration than we ever could with competition.
- A rising tide lifts all boats.
So I can look at other authors as my competition, or I can support and celebrate their success, knowing there is more than enough abundance to go around and if I help them rise, I elevate myself as well.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
A few years ago I participated in an intense six month personal development experience called the Masterkey Mastermind Alliance, created by Mark & Davene Januszewski. I had to get really clear on what I wanted for my life, even writing out a one-sentence definite major purpose statement. That statement, “I am a best-selling author inspiring people to live a life of true health, love, laughter, and freedom,” was profound. I cried the first time I spoke it out loud.
In the beginning, I didn’t have a lot of confidence. This was a bold statement for someone who had only published in a magazine and on the web. But to this day, as I read this statement out loud, I feel it. I feel the presence of it, which shows up in the way I present myself to the world while sharing my gifts of courage, enthusiasm, persistence, passion, and authenticity to it.
I’m forever grateful for Mark and Davene, for the system they created and the tribe of support it provided. It directed me toward living a life I love for sure.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
I define resilience as the ability to overcome setbacks and challenges. It is acting with purpose and intention, despite the obstacles one may face.
Characteristics of resilience include perseverence, determination, optimistism, grit, and persistence. Perhaps most of all, it includes the belief that joy comes in the morning, whether that joy comes tomorrow, or some morning in the future.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Courage is boldly stepping forward, often in the midst of fear. It involves both the little steps that we take, one after the other to propel us forward, as well as the giant leaps that launch us in a new direction.
Resilience is a commitment to finish what we start. Both involve action toward our dreams, even when we are scared.
Courage is what gets us started in the right direction, resilience is what sees us through to the end.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Probably author J.K. Rowling. She was a single mom on welfare when she began writing the Harry Potter series. In the beginning she faced a lot of rejection, but she was determined to not give up until every single publisher had turned her down. She’s now one of the world’s top-earning authors.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Absolutely. It was during my first sixteen-week health and wellness transformation challenge (I’ve now completed over 23). I shared my dream and goal with a group of women at a supper club gathering. One woman, who I considered a friend, said to me, “It’s not like you can win. You don’t have enough weight to lose. What kind of transformation can you possibly have?”
I was recognized as an Honorable Mention that year, and went on to be a Finalist a few years later.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
Yes! In fact, I wrote a book about it, called Come Back Strong! LOL! In 2015, an unexpected surgery sent me into menopause literally, overnight.
Surgical menopause rattled my cage and threatened to rob me of my confidence, sexuality, and motivation.
However, it was in the journey through the darkness that I discovered my purpose, deeper passions, and ultimately, joy. It was where I was forced to examine the spokes on my wellness wheel, so I could reclaim and maintain my balance. It was where I learned that setbacks are setups for comebacks.
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
I learned independence and reilience at an early age. I remember the first time I took a road trip across the country it was by bus. I was 19 and scared. I did it anyway. My desire to go to Colorado was so strong. It was worth it.
I was transferring schools and, to convince my parents, I said I would pay my own way. The bus seemed like a good (cheap) option. It took two days and nights and God only knows how many stops. At least one senior citizen and one snot-nosed kid fell asleep on my shoulder.
I arrived in Gunnison in the middle of the night. A student transported me to my dorm where I discovered, to my dismay; there was no toilet paper.
Up until this point, I had kept my cool and “warrior-ed” on. But no toilet paper? I lost it. I called my mom, 2,000 miles away, SOBBING. She calmed me down and told me there must be a gas station nearby where I could go get myself a roll.
She was right.
Seometimes we get so caught up in the current moment or drama, we forget to take a step back and look at life from a broader perspective. Just thinking back on that road trip reminds me of how courageous and resilient I have been in my life.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
Resilience boils down to mindset and our mind is just like our muscles: when we focus on building muscles and training them with daily consistent action, they grow. If we stop training, they atrophy. When it comes to our mental state, what we think about, we get more of. Resilience is intentional. We’re not all born with the resilience muscle, but it is something we can learn and train an build, using the following 5 steps.
- Define your goal and know why you want it.
Imagine sitting on Santa’s lap and being asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” As an adult, you may have learned to respond in a socially acceptable manner. But if we dive deeper into the question, we can ask ourselves “What do I want? What are my dreams? What would fulfill me? What will make me happiest? What will fulfill my passions? What would serve me and the world around me? What would I love? What is best for me?” These are all great questions that require a truth that bubbles out of your heart and overflows onto others, brightening everyone’s path in the process. After you decide what you want, the next step to making it stick is to know why you want it. This will help you stay focused. When I met my best friend and now husband, we made a promise to each other: to be as healthy as we possibly could be, every single day, for the rest of our lives. I’m counting on him to keep his promise. He’s counting on me to keep mine. That is my “why.” That is what motivates me to live a healthy lifestyle every single day to the best of my ability. Every single one of you has someone or something in your life that is counting on you. It may be your partner, best friend, child, parent, four-legged friend, passion, mission, ministry, or faith. What is it for you? What is your top priority? What is the thing that would cause you to move heaven and earth to protect it and keep it sacred? The thing that would cause you to act? To change? To rise? To come back strong? Do you know? Because if you do, it will make all the difference with your decisions. It will be what drives you toward success and resilience.
- Remember it’s ok to fail.
In fact, failure is a very important part of any journey. It teaches you what your weaknesses and liabilities are. It tells you what you must learn to have the success you want. It tells you who you are required to be in order to reach the goals you have for yourself.
In cycling with riders who are more advanced than you, you may get dropped (you can’t keep up with a group of riders) and fall behind the group. Yes, it sucks. You may even cry. I have. But it happens to us all at one point or another. We all end up riding with someone better than us sooner or later, and chances are, when this happens, we got dropped and then swore to get better. After you get dropped, you work harder than you ever have before. You push yourself a little bit more in those final moments.
In Bikram yoga, you learn to stretch to your maximum point of flexibility (which some might call failure), knowing next time, your body will remember the point at which you left off and continue to improve.
In the gym, they call it “going to failure,” and it is a good thing; it’s the point where the most growth happens in the muscles. It’s called failing forward. Most would consider quarterback Peyton Manning’s rookie season a loss or failure. His team went 3–13. He went on to appear in four Super Bowls, winning two. Michael Jordan didn’t make the cut to play for his high school varsity basketball team. He is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Boxing champion Muhammad Ali wasn’t a natural fighter and in his early boxing days, was considered a failure by experts. Baseball legend Babe Ruth holds the record for the most strikeouts and the third-highest home run record. Regardless of how you look at it, failure is a part of life and part of success and is what builds resilience.
- Be careful of what voices you listen to.
It’s hard enough to battle your own voice of self-doubt, without adding in the voice of those who unknowingly — or knowingly — try to sabotage you. Building a strong mindset will require you to ignore the voices of the naysayers, the bullies, and all those who doubt your success or believe that the odds of winning are against you. You will have to tune out the voice that threatens to steal your belief so that you can tune in to the voice of truth, becoming more resilient in the process.
- Commit to finish, not simply start.
With any goal or dream, you must have the courage to start and the discipline to keep going. You will require resilience. Failure and quitting cannot be part of your vocabulary or mindset. Consider this: once you start backing down, it gets easier and easier to give up. When you quit the first time, it’s hard. When you quit a second time, it gets easier. By the time you quit a third time, you don’t even think about it. Quitting becomes a way of life.
What’s the difference between thousands of people who quit versus the few who stick it out?
A decision. Make the decision to never, never, never give up on your goals and dreams. Make a total commitment to never give up. Decide and commit to finish what you start. Choose to persist until you succeed, and you will build the muscle of resilience.
- Know thyself.
Resilience requires self-awareness. You must know what you require to find your balanced and keep moving forward when life gets hard or obstacles come your way. You may need solitude to replenish your energy or time in nature. Some days you may require a nap. Some people need the comfort of a pet or the energy of a crowd. Whatever it is for you, when you know yourself and your needs, you can replenish your energy so that you can keep moving forward toward your goals.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Knowing yourself and being able to resuce yourself would be a powerful movement.
We all need self-care to keep us healthy in mind, body and spirit, but that can look different for each individual. As we develop tools to keep us healthy we’ll feel more confident and empowered. We’ll give ourselves more grace and space, for days without a to-do list and more fun.
We can all learn ways to optimize our life. We can set boundaries around our energy and time. We can do more of what excites us, and less out of a sense of guilt or obligation. We can delegate more and take more breaks. We can take a leap of faith and follow our passion.
Some of you are waiting for your prince or princess to rescue you, in the form of a spouse, parent, or friend. You are waiting for your partner to come home and say, “Quit your job.” You are waiting for a friend to confirm you are in a toxic or abusive relationship. You are waiting for some external event that causes or allows you to let go of something that is not serving you in life.
Getting unstuck or rebalancing your life takes courage. It is not always easy to say no to a project, but it may be essential. It’s not easy to cancel a date with a friend, quit a job or leave a marriage. But sometimes it will be critical to your health and wellbeing to do so.
You know what you need to do to feel more balance in your life and to live life more abundantly, fully optimized. It’s time you put a plan in action to rescue yourself.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with Chelsea Clinton. She is passionate about mental health awareness. In an interview with “Good Morning America (GMA)” in the spring of 2021, she talked about self-care being so individual. For her, spending time with her kids and family is self-care. For me, being on my bike or near the water is self-care.
Growing up in the public eye, I’m sure she had to learn to tune out the negativity and toxicity that can be part of our everyday life. She had to learn what brought her peace and calm as well as what restored her energy and optimism.
In that interview with GMA she went on to say, “A big part of self-care is just checking in with myself.” I share this belief in my dream for a movement where we all know ourselves better. Where we check in with ourselves to see how we’re doing, and what we need in that moment. It’s away to pivot when needed, take a break, or unplug so we can be the best version of ourselves.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
My website is LoriAnnKing.com, where you can find links to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!