Learning to dance on a shifting carpet……

‘In an uncertain world instead of seeing the rug from being pulled from under us we learn to dance on a shifting carpet’ – Thomas F. Crum

careerresilence March 2016

This quote always makes me laugh as I imagine myself ‘skipping’ and ‘hopping’ about on my own ‘shifting carpet’.

It also captures perfectly for me what it means to be resilient – having the ability to dance’, adapt to what life may throw at you. Perhaps with some grace and hopefully with a fair bit of humour. I also like the way this quote includes the notion of learning and the implication that we can if we so choose develop and enhance our levels of resilience.

My long standing interest in resilience comes from recognising that this is one of the biggest lessons I have learnt throughout my life. I believe that these days, I have a fairly resilient and robust view on life.

However I am now also becoming increasingly interested in how people can not only be resilient, but also how they can truly thrive. Or as Siebert (2005), describes it ‘Discovering your talent for serendipity, the ability to turn misfortune to good fortune’.

Reference: – Siebert, PH.D, A. (2005): The Resiliency Advantage; Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks; Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco

So going back to our ‘shifting carpets’, resilience for me would then be about having the ability to dance about as things change. Thriving on the other hand might be more about being able to ‘fly’ with your carpet and steer it where ever you want to go regardless of the conditions or situations in which you find yourself.

This for me takes things to a whole new level and perhaps I am expecting far too much. So my question for this month is…….

What would it take for you to move beyond resilience, towards really thriving?

Some initial thoughts…….

Things are not likely to get easier any time soon, so we do need to become stronger and tougher, mentally, psychologically, physically and emotionally.

As a consequence I think we may need to consciously choose to thrive rather than survive in the current climate, it’s here for a while. What else are you going to do? Waiting for the ‘storm to pass, may not work as a strategy…


So it seems to me that we may need to become tougher in protecting our boundaries around work, rest and play.

Perhaps we can:

  • Become tougher about what we say yes and no to.
  • Prioritise the things that bring us a bit of joy, peace and harmony and simply go do ’em.
  • Be a bit ruthless about how and who we spend our time with.
  • Recognise that life is simply too short to spend solely in survival mode.
  • Question whether the energy it takes to maintain the current state, might be better spent on learning to thrive.
  • Learn to create our own portable ‘Eco Systems’ that are with us even if the external environment is not too great.
  • Find ways to simply laugh more, most of us as adults are probably not laughing anywhere near as much as we could be.
  • Be grateful every single day ……

It’s your carpet and if you want to not only stay on it, but take it ‘flying’ you may need to just make that bold and conscious decision to thrive.

Janice Taylor




About careerresilience

Career Coach and Writer at Blue Sky Career Consulting. I love to write and am currently juggling three different blogs. On a mission to discover how people can thrive and flourish in life and work.
This entry was posted in Career, Change, Personal Development, Resilience, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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