Hugh van Cuylenberg \ Finding happiness through gratitude, empathy and mindfulness

It's an absolute honour to bring you this week's guest - Hugh van Cuylenberg.

Hugh is the author of The Resilience Project, which, firstly, if you haven't read it – what have you been doing!? And secondly, read it ASAP – if not sooner!

It's one of those books that once you read it, the lens you view the world through profoundly changes.

Hugh was a primary school teacher when the course of his life changed forever during a volunteering trip in a remote town in northern India.

It was here, teaching at the local school, with no running water, electricity or beds, he cracked the code of happiness.

It wasn't found in the things we own, the cars we drive or the way we look. Happiness is cultivated through gratitude, empathy and mindfulness or what Hugh calls GEM.

When he returned he created an evidence-based curriculum for schools called The Resilience Project founded on these very principles to tackle Australia's escalating rates of mental illness.

A decade later, The Resilience Project has reached more than a million Australians from schools, sporting clubs and businesses across the country.

In this chat we discuss: the silver linings of lockdown, the impact his little sister's battle with anorexia nervosa had on his family, how that experience led him to where he is today, why it takes time to glean the learnings from adversity, the GEM principles he lives his life by, why The Resilience Project has had such an impact and why school children will always be the program's focus, as well as some practical tips parents can implement to teach our children resilience.


  • Follow Hugh here, get your hands on a copy of The Resilience Project here and check out Hugh's podcast The Imperfects here
  • As always, you can connect with me here
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