There is a saying that if you are stuck in a hole, the best thing to do is to stop digging. Yet time and time again, people will keep metaphorically digging deeper and deeper. I have a few beliefs about why this happens. I also believe there are ways to fix this.

By diving down in the particulars, I believe it is possible for people to practice being resilient so they are ready when they need it most.


You may have seen this video which has been floating around. It is my attempt at compressing the first 2 years of research into 15 and a half minutes.

Open Part 1 in Youtube

Summary: Resilience is all about being able to deal with unexpected reality. We are emotional beings and have a lot of inherent biases in the way. These biases stem from our brains turning our fight-or-flight response into overdrive. What this means is that our natural reaction is to turn towards denial and pretend that certain information doesn't exist. There is a type of narrative however that we can tell ourselves which helps us take control and do beneficial actions. The hardest part though is that our ability to be resilient is hugely dependent on the context in which we are in.


"One of the best lectures I've ever seen at Stanford."


"Your resilience piece saved me."

Part 2 is a continuation of the work and details the types of spaces we need to create for ourselves to actually be resilient. These spaces are emotional as much as they are physical.

Open Part 2 in Youtube

Summary: There are 3 spaces which we need to develop for ourselves in order to be able to adapt. 2 of them we usually have. Front Stage is how we present ourselves to the world and how we act. Back Stage is where we go to recover, to form relationships, and basically establish where we are in the metaphorical wolf pack. The last space is often over looked. Margin is the space we go where all norms are suspended and where we can face hard truths. Each of these spaces must be present and clearly defined to you. The video goes into how it works and a story of how one person realized she needed to create it for herself.

Part 3 expands Parts 1 and 2 into the outside world. It is a presentation given at the end of Bangkok Design Week 2020 after a study of resilience and mindfulness.

Open Part 3 in Youtube

Summary: In Part 1 we cover how our resilience is dependent on controlling an overdriven brain and analyzing the space we are in. In Part 2 we realized that this analysis is best if done in the Margin. In Part 3 we discover that spaces out in the wild will color our perception. Actions done in a negative space can make us feel disconnected and drained. The same action done in a positive place instead becomes lively and energizing. These positive places are marked with creativity and resilience, but unfortunately are rare, precarious, and inaccessible. We spend most of our time in the negative spaces, and even spaces we believe to be good, could secretly be hurtful.

Leadership, Coaching, and Self Help

This work has been really helpful to:


The leader who is concerned with how to deal with crisis and chaos.


The supportive person who has worked all around the corporate ladder and finds themselves at a crux.


Generally, we walk down the path that life has created before us until one day something happens. There is a day when we see how truly dangerous the path is and that there is something very wrong with what we were doing. We change and ask for the path to change.


This is the method for handling all of that and everything that comes next. It has come from countless interviews with ICU nurses who developed coping mechanisms, Marines who have lost children, Fire fighters dealing with empathy, Art students finding direction, Delta Force veterans, CEO's battling cancer, and many more who I have had the honor of befriending.


This work has been the source for a few classes and has been used by several corporations and consultancies to initiate healthy change.


If what you read or watched has triggered a deep seated emotion and you want to get further into it, then let's talk.

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Yuri Zaitsev |