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  • Writer's pictureOlivier SE Courtois

Keep on Smiling: Resilience Has a Knock-on Effect

2024 is off to a 'great' start. As I resumed my travels after a break in December, I experienced the shortest journey of my career: Brussels to Dammam in 2 minutes flat. The trip was interrupted by a patch of ice surreptitiously formed in front of my cab on the way to the airport. The result: two fractures and six weeks' immobilization. God had a plan, though: my mother-in-law passed away a few days later, and I could be with my wife through this ordeal. A medical check-up ten days after the accident revealed that I had to undergo an operation scheduled for Friday, just before the funeral. And then prolonged bed rest. I'm thinking of that exercise we do where we draw our lifeline by connecting high points, moments of high energy, and low points, difficult moments. When I did this exercise, I never felt any low points. Is this normal, Doctor? I don't take any pride in it, but I consider it a gift from heaven. Every time I go through a crisis, big or small, I get a boost that sharpens my senses and pushes me to explore other alternatives. Of course, grief is grief. But I also see it as an opportunity to reinvent my work, ask myself a few good questions, and imagine new alternatives. Whatever happens, let's keep our energy up and our smiles on in times of crisis. Firstly, it sharpens the senses and lets us see and seize opportunities more clearly. Secondly, because it has a knock-on effect on those around us. Let's find the right balance between calm and energy, determination and letting go - these qualities can be cultivated in times of trial. And they can inspire those around us who need them most.

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