Mastering Your Reality: Bonnie St. John


In every moment, you choose who you want to be and how you want to live your life. It’s your ultimate power, and your inescapable responsibility. You’re the master of your reality.


When she was five years old, Bonnie St. John‘s leg was amputated. That didn’t stop her from winning a silver and two bronze medals at the 1984 Winter Paralympics, becoming the first African-American ever to take home medals from a Winter Olympic competition. Her success didn’t end there; Bonnie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, and President Clinton named her a Director for Human Capital Issues on the White House National Economic Council. Today she is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, leadership consultant, and media personality. In her new book, Micro Resilience, Bonnie lays out 5 key micro-resilience frameworks that will help readers tackle anything life throws at them.

In this episode of Mastering Your Reality, we discussed:

  • Micro resilience is about taking baby steps towards being more resilient. To shape your own reality, you need to constantly be bouncing back.
  • The real power lies in understanding ‘why’ you need to do certain things. We use our prefrontal cortex much more extensively in today’s world than in “simpler” environments. How can we use that analytical power more efficiently to become more effective?
  • A simple example: Even a small amount of exercise in any given day yields great benefits. On a micro level, it makes sense to get some exercise, however minor, even if it isn’t as much as you would like to accomplish. Don’t let the “ideal” of a major workout prevent you from getting any exercise whatsoever–even if it’s just a walk at lunch.
  • The question to ask: “how can I be a high performer hour by hour?” What are the little things you can do that can give you more energy and make you feel less exhausted.
  • A helpful tool for children and adults is an “attitude first aid kit.” You are responsible for your attitude, regardless of your circumstances. When you’re in a bad place mentally and/or emotionally, use the toolkit to repair your attitude and put matters in perspective. It might include pictures of family, mementos, awards and distinctions, notes, etc.
  • A concept that Bonnie applies in her programs and workshops: we can achieve growth and make progress incrementally. She challenges folks to do a little bit every month, then come back together to discuss it. This gives people a chance to reflect, grow and apply an idea, fully embracing it without being overwhelmed.
  • Its not the circumstances you confront that determine the life you live, how those circumstances manifest themselves in your life is entirely your choice.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn more about Bonnie, or here for more about Bonnie’s books or here for information about the blue circle institute. For more episodes of Mastering Your Reality, click here.

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