MoxieCast 031: Cultivating Bounce-back-ability, with James Shone

MoxieCast Episode 31


I’m fascinated by resilience, particularly how some people demonstrate extraordinary bounce-back-ability, and humour even, when something devastating happens. Maybe it’s a redundancy or a medical diagnosis. Maybe a long-term relationship breaks up.

You know those people who thrive in spite of their challenging circumstances?

They have every reason to become jaded and cynical. Instead they’re insightful. Funny. Wise like Yoda.

How do they do that?

Meet today’s guest, James Shone. At 39 years old, James was at the pinnacle of his career. He’d just received a prestigious Headship at a school and was about to move his wife and four children into their new home, when disaster struck.

Two words changed his life forever: brain tumour.

James tells his story in the episode, but I wanted to pre-share this here. Most of us don’t have” enough air in our balloons,” he says. So when the unexpected happens we can’t spring up as easily. We have a choice in adversity, he says, (quoting Winston Churchill):

Do we give up, or do we get up?

What saved him, James said, was a gratitude practice, a sense of humour, and connecting deeply to his purpose.

Some show highlights include:

  • Resilience is strength and speed of response to adversity. Build resilience BEFORE you need it
  • James’s 3-Step Mantra: Look up, look forward, and look out
  • Stay flexible – We can have quite rigid ideas about what life is “supposed to” look like
  • Start focusing on your “I can” list, instead of fixating on what you can’t do.
  • Gratitude, lightening up and helping others…
  • How can YOU put more air in your balloon?

Please join me for this funny and uplifting conversation with James Shone…


Links and Resources

I Can and I Am

Option B Book

The 3 min video I mention with Sheryl Sandberg & Adam Grant

Review MoxieCast on iTunes


Quotes by James Shone:


“It’s important to that our foundations are flexible – go with the flow, or you’ll be felled.”


“One of the most compelling reasons to get up is others.”


“Follow your dreams…have a vision for your life. Keep your eyes high and keep dreaming.”