Mary-Ann Owens and Associates

Resilience Blog

Reaching your goals with Grit

Exercising Your Way Through A Crisis

Exercising Your Way Through A Crisis

I listened to a talk by Daniel Miller the other day. He was talking about keeping yourself healthy through the crisis we are going through.

He recommended doing 10,000 steps a day. His rationale for doing this is based on history. He said we were once hunter/gatherers and that if we didn’t move we didn’t eat.

He stated that if we don’t move we don’t deserve to eat now. So if you are eating you need to get moving to keep the body healthy and in balance.

He said to get an accountability partner and support each other. I decided to use a checkmark on my calendar as my accountability. If there is no checkmark we go for a walk after dinner.

It is fun exploring new paths while checking out the neighborhood.

So I wanted to share this wisdom with you.

I’m still not up to 10,000 steps a day, but feeling lighter and calmer through self-isolation.

Where do you want to be at the end of this crisis?

Where do you want to be at the end of this crisis?

When you envision the end of the COVID19 crisis where do you want to be? Mark Gasparotto says that personal resilience requires us to look at all 4 legs of our table, ensuring that the table doesn’t tip. We need to look at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of ourselves.

  • Maybe you have a physical goal, such as being healthier in some way. Your goal could be to learn new methods to boost your immunity or keep fit.
  • Maybe you have a business goal of wanting to pivot your business in the short term to assisting essential service personnel to keep some revenue coming.
  • Maybe you have a spiritual goal to find a type of meditation you enjoy and make it a part of your daily routine.
  • Maybe you have a household goal because you are spending so much time in your home.
  • Maybe you want to establish a closer relationship with your partner by reading a relationship book together.
  • Maybe you want to establish closer friendships by reaching out to more of your network through supportive emails, texts or social media.

Keeping a vision in mind, could you detail your goal in words or pictures and keep it somewhere you could look at it daily. In this way, it stays with you, top of mind and can help to motivate you.

It is often a good idea to think of obstacles to your goal and resolve ways through those as well.

For instance, I have a goal of cleaning up a room in our basement. Envisioning it as organized instead of the way it is now is motivating. I need to enlist another person I live in my vision though because all the stuff in there isn’t mine. If we both work on the vision of what we want in that room, the outcome is more likely to happen. This would be a new process for both of us which brings some excitement with it. Also going to work on this room when we both have some energy to tackle it and limiting the stretch of time we work on it to something manageable might be ways to overcome other obstacles.

Paul Romer said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

I have a friend who is used to working out on an outdoor exercise park. The park is closed due to COVID19. So she is lifting tin cans to keep her arms strong and lifting her legs and body weight between pieces of furniture in her living room. These are effective ways to keep her body in shape. Good for her.

What creative new method can you bring to your goals?

Calm Wisdom

Calm Wisdom

What makes you calm in stressful circumstances?

This is an important question right now, so take the time to answer this for yourself.

My way of staying calm is to meditate. When I do this my nerves settle.

There are many ways to calm oneself though. What are yours?

Like the quote above says, we are in a very stressful period.

Being able to calm yourself is very important.

Some people calm themselves by doing:



Being in nature


Quieting themselves


Listening to podcasts



I hope you are able to take some time to do a calming activity today.

Best wishes on your journey!!


How are you, how is your house?

How are you, how is your house?

I had a deep meditation this week. It helped me get in touch with some difficult events and feelings. My Mother passed away in November, we are in the midst of a renovation and a family member had surgery for cancer today. During the meditation, I thought I wonder how my house is?

In Jungian psychology, the house is the self…so wondering about myself…I realized that my front window was blown out due to the death of my Mother, the back window was blown out due to the cancer surgery of my family member. My house’s electrical system was fried due to the focus on the renovation.

I sent a couple of friends the metaphors that came up in the meditation and one of them sent a special poem by Rumi about the house. Also after I realized all this about my house it began to heal within the meditation. No doubt additional healing is necessary.

Here is the Rumi poem sent by my friend.

"This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond."

What This Blog is About

What This Blog is About

Welcome to The Resilience Blog.

The topics in this blog help you be more resilient in your career and as a leader. I write about ways to gain momentum and positively move through blocks that get in the way of your goals. I post articles on the blog about once a week. 

When I did my research study for my Ph.D., I got to conduct interviews with a number of successful and admired leaders. What fascinated me about them was how resilient they were. They had grown into leaders who could make things happen by demonstrating their resilience, confidence, and adaptive behaviours. I will teach you how to use and apply these resilient behaviours in your leadership and career leading to new levels of success. 

I am completing a book on Career Grit, which will include content and themes that will appear in the blog. If you have a story about overcoming challenges and becoming increasingly resilient in the process, I would love hearing about it. 

I am passionate about these career related topics:

  • methods to positively connect with others,
  • ways to lean into feedback,
  • reframing negative experiences,
  • making progress on your goals,
  • methods to enhance your positive impact, and
  • meeting challenges.

In the leadership area I enjoy focusing on: 

  • creating a safe environment, 
  • being more positive in your self-management and with your team,
  • raising your self-awareness,
  • bringing safety along with you wherever you go,
  • being able to have tough conversations when needed,
  • building trust, and 
  • ensuring your team performs. 

I hope you sign up for the blog soon and that you and your team apply these resilient behaviours thereby increasing your success.

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Check out the Career Grit Process Here.

How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don't Have a Job

How to Advance Your Career Even If You Don't Have a Job

Many people think they need a job to make progress in their career. You don't need a job to make progress. Over time doing things that create forward momentum may create the work you need. So don't wait to start doing these career advancing moves. 

  1. Promote your progress. Let those with the authority to spend money and make decisions know the advances you are making in your learning, networks, and knowledge of their industry.
  2. Do your homework. Research the leading organizations and individuals in your field. Learn what they are doing to stay ahead.
  3. Have your finger on the pulse. Know what the emerging issues and trends are within your industry.
  4. Put your hand up. Volunteer within your industry association or on the board of an organization with a cause you are passionate about. Volunteering is a way you can expand your network and build your skills.
  5. Broaden your network in your field. You can attend industry events with a goal of meeting 3 new people at each event. You can let your current network know that you want to expand your network. Ask yourself are there people you should get in front of? 
  6. Find a mentor (or two). Spend time with people in your field who are further along the career path or considered experts in your industry.
  7. Polish your online profiles. Keep the information current on these public profiles, so that your contacts can be up to date on your progress.
  8. Push your passion forward. Advance your knowledge and abilities in areas of your career where you are truly motivated. This will be fun and rewarding as the learning and knowledge add to your skill sets.
  9. Take a risk. Put more skin in the game by putting yourself out more. You could organize an event, write an article, or offer to do a talk. Your efforts and learning can open doors, allowing you to meet new people, develop new opportunities, and give you new information and energy.
  10. Chart a career path for your career progress. What skills do you need as you round out your experience and move forward on your career path?

You can learn the skills you will require through;

  • taking a course,
  • researching and learning on your own,
  • writing an article and posting it,
  • volunteering, or
  • finding an expert or mentor.

These actions will advance your process, add to your knowledge base and network. Even if you don't have work, setting goals and carrying out some of these actions will move you closer to getting work that you would enjoy and shine at.

Sign up for The Resilience Blog today and Receive 10 Ways to Create Your Own Career Success within 24 hours.

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Check out the Career Grit Process Here.

What it Takes to Coach for Pride

What it Takes to Coach for Pride

I saw an article in the Globe and Mail on the weekend that outlined how Bob Johnson, the hockey coach, emphasized pride in his coaching. This is a motivating way to coach people and is also important for leaders in organizations. The article stated that this way of coaching was a switch from the aggressive style of coaching using fear and humiliation with hockey players that was common in the early years of hockey.

I bet you are thinking to yourself that coaching for pride would motivate and engage you a lot better than coaching based on fear and humiliation. This is also what they found with hockey players. 

Why would this method of coaching be discussed in a resilience blog? To make coaching for pride happen, the leader or coach needs to ensure they have a positive relationship with themselves. If the leader cannot see what is right for themselves, they won’t be able to see what is right and what they can be proud of in others.

Be aware, though, that some leaders present themselves in an arrogant way, they seem to act as if they are the only ones who have positive qualities. This is actually an insecure way of leading which is not based on a positive sense of self. These leaders need to get feedback from others to verify what they are truly good at. They also need to confirm with others what their skills are and support themselves in those skills.

To gain skills in this method of coaching you may need to:

  1. Start by asking yourself what you did well today. Notice where you feel good about the things you have accomplished. This can range from simple accomplishments such as writing a great email or having a productive conversation to completing a complex project in an effective way. The important thing to acknowledge is that you contributed and made this result happen.
  2. After a period of time focusing on the first point, start to shift your attention to notice what others are doing well. Notice how your team members contribute weekly and with time and increased awareness, you will want to start to notice others' abilities. 
  3. Changing deep beliefs that keep you stuck and focused on what is going wrong, rather than what is going well may require you spending time meditating or working with a coach.

When you are able to have pride in your own accomplishments, you can encourage others to have pride in theirs. 

Sign up for The Resilience Blog today and Receive 10 Ways to Create Your Own Career Success within 24 hours

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Check out the Career Grit Process Here.

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