PODCAST: Creating a Life of Resilience and Adaptability with Ed Hajim

In a world that is constantly evolving, it can be difficult to stay resilient and adaptable. But how do you rise above the challenges life throws at you and become successful? What makes some people resilient, while others in the same situation, struggle? 

It was such a pleasure to speak with this week's guest, Ed Hajim. Ed grew up in and out of foster care with little guidance or support system, yet he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.  In his book, "ON THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED: An Unlikely Journey from the Orphanage to the Boardroom," Ed shares that his father kidnapped him at age 3, drove him cross country and away from his mother, and told Ed that his mother was dead! Shortly after, his dad  abandoned him, leaving Ed to grow up in orphanages and foster homes.

What is Resilience?

As humans, it is in our nature to want to give up when the going gets tough. But what if we could push through those low moments and use them as an opportunity for growth? What if we could turn those hardships into something positive?

Resilience is the ability to rise above life's hard circumstances and still find success. It is a quality that is worth cultivating because it holds the power to help us overcome life obstacles.  Resilience gives us the strength to continue on our journey no matter how difficult the road may be.


How to Practice Resilience

Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns that can make it difficult to stay positive. But it is possible to remain hopeful, even in times of hardship. Resilience doesn't mean being filled with false positivity. Instead, resilience is about problem solving, and having the faith that you can persevere to work through challenges, accept hard circumstances, use your skills to push through.

Here are some tips to help you become more resilient:

  • Take things one step at a time. When life gets overwhelming and it feels like everything is coming at you all at once, try breaking tasks down into smaller pieces so that they seem more manageable.
  • Focus on the present moment. Instead of worrying about what may or may not happen in the future, focus your energy on what you can do right now to move forward.
  • Practice gratitude. Taking time out each day to express gratitude for the good things in life will help put your struggles into perspective and remind you that there are still many moments of joy - even when times are tough!
  • Stay connected with friends & family. Connecting with loved ones who have your best interests at heart can help provide reassurance and reduce stress levels when things get overwhelming.
  • Try something new or focus on an old hobby. Learning something new or rediscovering an old hobby can give you a sense of accomplishment whilst helping to take your mind off difficult circumstances for a while.
  • Engage in positive self-talk. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts or feeling defeated by difficult times, practice speaking positively to yourself; this will help boost morale and keep you motivated.

Feel Your Feelings, Accept the Challenge, AND Problem Solve

Remember that resilience does not mean avoiding difficulty or pretending that everything is okay even when it isn't; it means accepting life's challenge as they come along so that one day these same challenges won’t feel nearly impossible anymore. Resilience allows us keep pushing forward knowing that we have the capacity within ourselves to reach our goals - no matter how hard things get.


Discover Your Core Values

When life gets tough, it is easy to give up and fall into despair, but your core values can provide you with a sense of reassurance that you have the capacity to succeed despite difficulty.

Your core values are what shape how you think, how you act and how you approach hardship. They form an anchor which grounds you in difficult times and encourages positive behavior even when things don't go as planned. 

Ed credits his childhood for helping him recognize what is important. He says, “Later in life I realized that my childhood seemed to give me a foundation for recognizing the need for balance between self, family, work and community.”

By embracing the ideals your core values represent, resilience becomes something more than just an idea - it becomes a lifestyle.

"I really believe you must collect your principles over time," Ed said in our interview. "You must collect your core values and have them evolve. You started with simple ones like the golden rule, but you've gotta evolve them over time. Right now, at my age, [my] most important core value is gratitude. I really am grateful for living this long and having the ability to write a book and have people like you be interested.  I'm very, very lucky in that respect."


Find Someone Who Believes in You

Get involved in activities or attend events related to interests or causes that align with your core values - this will increase your chances of meeting people who share similar ideas as well as provide an opportunity to expand your support system.

Don't be afraid to reach out! Proactively engaging with other like-minded individuals is a great way to find someone who truly understands and supports you. Teachers, professors, co-workers, clergy, and coaches all make great mentors, as do friends. 

Ed says, "I tell people that one of the most important things... is self and self is made up by genes and what happens to you, and the impact, the interface, between those two things. ... I really felt early on I really wanted to be somebody. And my father basically said, 'You will be great.' And so unconditional love is one of the other things that you have to have;  you have to have somebody in your life who believes in you."

Listen to the full interview anywhere you listen to podcasts! Learn more about Ed and his books via his website.





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