How to Cope With Life Tied Up In a Knot

Peter Burow's Interview with Cairn

RESILIENCE building is a familiar phrase in the cyclone-prone Far North. But as NeuroPower Group founder Peter Burow explains, the skills needed to overcome community and personal crises vary greatly.

“The difference between a natural disaster for example and some of the other personal crises is that everyone is going through it together,” he said.

“While you’re in step with the community, resilience is high.

“But the moment you have different challenges from the rest of the community, now you feel even more alone.”

Mr Burow is a behavioural strategist who has developed the NeuroPower framework - a system used throughout the world that explains human be­haviour through the inte­gration of neuroscience, psychology, and best practice management theory.

He will co-host the two-day “Mastering Resilience Pro­gram” in Cairns, where partici­pants will reflect on different aspects of their lives and learn what’s known as the six levers of a resilience mindset.

“The objective of resilience is regardless of what happens externally, that you’re able to have a sense of optimism and resilience and positivity intern­ally, so you’re not reliant on everything going well in the external world,” he said.

“Sometimes a member of your family has a chronic dis­ease or you have an accident or you go through a really diffi­cult financial period.

“In those heavy situations, resilience is your ability to stop, to pause and to pull back and say ‘OK, my world has changed here, what mindset am I going to need to have if I’m going to be effective in this new environment?”

People tended to “fracture” as they became stressed, divid­ing themselves between their roles and responsibilities, and draining themselves of energy.

To cope with stress, he rec­ommended taking the time to reflect at least once a year.
“My first piece of advice would be you need to spend a couple of days away from life to be able to pull those differ­ent strings together into a beautiful bow rather than a knot,” he said.
“The second thing would be when you do this, you’re going to need some more infor­mation but you’re not going to develop the skills of resilience by reading ... you need to pro­cess some of your own thoughts, emotions and behav­iours, and work things through.

“It was Mozart who said ‘the music is as much about the spaces as it is the notes’ and in the same way, with these sorts of workshops we create a whole series of questions you are given time to reflect on and think through for yourself and it’s incredibly rewarding.

“We ask: what roles do you have? What are your values? How do you add value to the world? What do you find most rewarding now?

“Because things change, this is the great frustration.”