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Land Rover has revealed that close personal connections, an appetite for exploration and hunger to make and learn are the keys to building personal resilience. These attributes form the crucial elements in a new ‘formula’ for resilience devised by Land Rover.

Project Discovery is an international research project that looked into the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on family life. The global study, which included 7,000 participants, was conceived to uncover the behaviours that contribute to resilience – to help people make positive changes to their lives.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology & Health at MBS Manchester University, said: “Resilience is something that can be learned and developed over time and Project Discovery shows how truly resilient people behave. Using its findings, it’s possible to see how a few relatively simple lifestyle changes have the potential to enhance our ability to overcome adversity both now and in the future.

“What’s really interesting is that resilience clearly isn’t the preserve of captains of industry, political leaders or military personnel. In fact, the findings suggest the most resilient people over the last 12 months will have been retired couples with long-established positive routines and who have enjoyed regular visits, when permitted, from grandchildren.”

Global adventurer Bear Grylls was joined by mental health advocate and former England rugby player, Jonny Wilkinson, to launch the findings and discuss what resilience means to each of them.

Close connections with a tight-knit group of friends and family, a hunger to learn new skills and a desire to explore and understand our surroundings are the key attributes exhibited by those participants found to have the highest resilience scores* in the multinational study.

Bear Grylls, Adventurer and Land Rover ambassador, said: “Project Discovery shows the importance of having a close-knit group of family, friends and work buddies to lean on when things get tough. That community spirit and the ability to get outdoors and explore have been vital ingredients to me to help build resilience.

It's no surprise this has come out in the research and its fantastic the Land Rover Discovery is enabling so many everyday family adventures to help us live and thrive when times are tough.”

Just 7% of participants in the study recorded a resilience score rated as ‘high’ overall*, but the ability to cope with challenging situations is something that we can develop over time – which helps to explain why over 65s are twice as likely to be highly resilient than 18-24 year olds. Nearly a third of all participants returned a ‘low’ resilience score but the findings highlighted the behaviours that are common among those at the other end of the spectrum.

Key among them was the importance of family. More than half of those returning high resilience scores always prioritise time with their family over everything else – 44% higher than people with low resilience. A similar proportion said they liked finding new places to explore, while 72% of highly resilient people find joy in learning new things – 41% higher than people who returned low resilience score.

National lockdowns and social restrictions have forced communities across the world to change and adapt, with 73% of people in the study beginning a new pastime, exercise regime, hobby or habit since the beginning of the global pandemic last year.

Participants with the lowest resilience scores were the most likely to have started a new activity, suggesting these people were making deliberate changes to address the situation. Indeed, according to Project Discovery, more than half of people (56%) said they have taken more care of their mental health since the beginning of the crisis and 93% of people who began a new activity plan to keep it up in 2021.

In addition, analysis of the findings uncovered the following trends:

·       School’s out: 86% of people living with under 18s home-schooled last year but highly resilient people are 23% less likely to have had to do this. People with low resilience are 13%more likely to have home-schooled.

·       Grandparents win: Living with children revealed no link to resilience but 20% of people with high resilience enjoyed regular time with grandchildren when permitted – making them twice as likely to enjoy such contact as those with low resilience.

·       Spousal support: 67% of highly resilient people live with a partner or spouse – 31% higher than for people with low scores (51%). 61% of participants with medium scores live with their partner or spouse.

 How to improve resilience

Analysing the findings of Project Discovery, Professor Sir Cary Cooper recommends the following key steps in developing stronger self-confidence and resilience:

·       Foster strong relationships – schedule regular catch-ups with friends or colleagues and set aside time for family to make it part of your daily routine

·       Set goals and targets to help keep you motivated – it could be anything from a large DIY project to cooking a new recipe every week

·       Participate in a regular form of exercise – an appropriate physical challenge will help your mind and body and give you a reason to get outside

 Project Discovery, which spoke to 7,000 families across the world, was named after the Land Rover Discovery, the world’s most capable and versatile family SUV. With seven seats and trademark Land Rover breadth of capability, it is designed to help families make more of their world and never stop discovering.

 Formula for resilience

The findings of Project Discovery highlight three key ingredients and behaviours that are common to people with a high resilience rating – allowing Land Rover to reveal the formula for resilience.

R = 2F + EwP + SD



R = Resilience


2F = Friends & Family

An increased desire to connect with others sets apart those with high resilience – they enjoy a close-knit support structure of friends and family. Those with high resilience are 44% more likely to prioritise time with friends and family compared to people in the study with low resilience.


EwP = Enrichment with Purpose

Learning new skills, both mental and physical, and focusing on activities with an end goal is key. 72% of people with high resilience scores enjoy learning new things – 41% higher than people in the study with low resilience scores – and 57% of highly resilient people take physical health seriously – 73% higher than people with low resilience scores.


SD = Spirit of Discovery

Exploration and awareness of what’s going around you builds resilience. More than half of people with high scores like finding new places to explore – 41 per cent higher than people with low resilience – and they are 61 per more likely to have an active interest in news and current affairs.


For more insights from Project Discovery click here:

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