"Just live well, just live."

When dealing with all kinds of life disruptions, we don't need to all grit and grind our way through them, there actually is a simpler solution.

By Pang Zijun, Facilitator/Implementation Consultant, Arbinger Singapore/Malaysia | January 5, 2021

There are 3 words/phrases I find troubling recently:

Resilience, Bounce Back & Move On.

I know resilience has become a HUGE thing especially during this pandemic — everyone talks about it; sometimes people call it different names, “grit”, maybe, and talk about it that way.

It seems that resilience has emerged as the ultimate secret to everything we do in life, from “recovering” from a bad mood, to “going through” unpredictable times, and navigating and responding to big changes.

What is normally said with the concept of being “resilient” is that we must Bounce Back. By definition, bounce back means “to return quickly to a normal condition after a difficult situation or event”.

But the question is, how do you define “normal condition”? Especially when it comes to life, people, emotions etc.?

As surprising or obvious as it might be to all of us, life doesn’t follow a straight path or timeline. So, the idea of “life” consists of a series of stages and we are passing through them in a certain, or a reasonably messed up order is worse than misleading. It sabotages our wellbeing.

The shapes of our lives are much more unpredicted, complicated, and richer than we think, and, if there is anything we DO know about life, it’s that life is definitely not linear. This means, when going through tough times or disruptions, there are choices: we might go back to where we were (the “normal condition”?), or we branch out — go sideways, four ways, or even flick and start somewhere new entirely.

It is important to note that, when dealing with all kinds of life disruptions, we don’t need to all grit and grind our way through them, there actually is the simpler solution, which I quote from a popular romantic novel Me Before You – “Just live well, just live”, and bounce wherever you feel like.

And then there is the concept of “moving on” and how important people think it is.

What do you think of the phrase “move on”? What kind of emotion or vibe do you pick up when use or hear others using the phrase “move on”? And more importantly, what is “moving on” dealing with?

Personally, I always sense a certain element of disappointment and/or a level of relief. I never heard anyone talking about “moving on” from happiness.

When people say “move on” it usually means there was something bad, unhappy, disappointing, troubling, etc that people had to “move on” from. And as if by moving on, that bad, unhappy, disappointing, troubling past will no longer be part of people’s lives. As if he/she will be entirely new, without baggage, heartbreak, sorrow, and even grief.

How is that even possible?!

What is possible with “moving on” is that the people who manage to move on, no longer feel emotionally entangled, but whatever happened in life still happened, and those events, happy or sad, shaped us, enlarged us, helped us grow and made us who we are now.

“Now” is what’s important, but “now” is not captured in the concept of “moving on” at all. Moving on is all about dealing with the past. Why do we put such an emphasis on the past?

Instead of “moving on”, the simpler solution stays true — “just live well, just live.” Just move forward — accept and develop new feelings and make space for more memories and love — even when we cannot “move on”.