The Land Rover Discovery SUV has been helping families have adventures for more than 30 years. So Project Discovery was the obvious name for an international survey about families.
Land Rover researched how we have all managed to explore the world and find new things in a challenging 12 months. Project Discovery looks at personal resilience and reveals how we can all build that resilience – whatever the circumstances.
It’s about family and friends, a hunger to make and learn, and an appetite for exploration.
Land Rover launched Project Discovery to find out more about families around the world. What had they learned about themselves over the last year? And what new things do they hope to do together when pandemic restrictions ease? The answers, from 7,000 people in seven countries, were revealing.
Not just revealing, but helpful.
Project Discovery’s findings will support people in making positive changes to their lives. Why? Because the results reveal what we can all do to become more resilient. Being more resilient has clear mental health benefits.
Not many people meet a scientific definition of ‘highly resilient’. Just 7% in Project Discovery. But the ability to cope with challenging situations is something we can develop over time. Three factors help to build resilience. We can call them Friends and Family, Enrichment with Purpose and Spirit of Discovery.
Friends and Family first. One of the best ways to build resilience is through relationships. Highly resilient people have an increased desire to connect with others. They enjoy a close‑knit support structure. More than half of those scoring highly for resilience in Project Discovery said they always put family time first. That’s 44% higher than among people with low resilience.
A similar proportion said they liked finding new places to explore. And 72% of highly resilient people find joy in learning new things – 41% higher than people who returned low resilience scores.
Lockdowns have affected people all over the world. Social restrictions have forced communities everywhere to change and adapt. Project Discovery found that many of us have tried new things during the pandemic. That’s Enrichment with Purpose.
Since restrictions began, 73% of people surveyed have taken up a new pastime, exercise regime, hobby or habit. Better still, people with the lowest resilience scores were the most likely to have started something new. And 93% of them said they intend to keep it up. That suggests people are making deliberate changes to address the situation. Indeed, more than half of respondents (56%) said they have taken greater care of their mental health since the beginning of the crisis.
Learning new skills – mental and physical – is key. So is focusing on activities with a clear goal. Project Discovery found 72% of people with high resilience scores enjoy learning new things. That’s 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.
Project Discovery also underlines the importance of a third factor: Spirit of Discovery. Exploring and being aware of what’s going on around you is a good way to build resilience. More than half of people with high resilience scores like finding new places to explore. That’s 41% higher than people with low resilience. It’s also telling that highly resilient people are 61% more likely to have an active interest in news and current affairs.
So Project Discovery is clear: discovering more is good for you.
You can start a family adventure here.
Resilience is the ability to cope with difficulties. The term is often used in the medical world. It’s also a helpful way to look at how people manage in everyday life. Especially given the restrictions people all over the world have lived with during the pandemic. Crucially, resilience is not a fixed commodity – it can be enhanced and developed.
Increased resilience can lead to substantial proven health benefits. Project Discovery set out to understand more about the behaviours of resilient people since the beginning of the pandemic. It consulted 7,000 families, 1,000 in seven countries: the USA, China, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Researchers wanted to find out how the pandemic had changed these people’s lives. To see what effect the unprecedented situation had had on their personal resilience.
They assessed resilience using the Brief Resilience Scale. It’s a system developed by psychologists. This allowed Project Discovery to identify the common behaviours linking people with differing levels of resilience.
Everyone who took part was scored as having high, medium or low resilience. Only a small proportion of the global population can be classed as highly resilient. The majority of people sit in the medium resilience category. So most of us have some level of resilience. But there’s also huge scope to improve and learn from the 7% of highly resilient people. A significant 29% can be defined as having ‘low resilience’.
Project Discovery asked whether people had started a new pastime, exercise regime, hobby or habit since the pandemic began. Overall, 73% of people said they had. However highly resilient people were less likely to have adopted a new activity in this time. In fact they’re 37% more likely not to have done. This might sound odd. But it’s because they are more likely to have been doing these things beforehand.
The top activities practiced by people with high resilience prior to the pandemic are projects with a clear goal. For example making or assembling something, or carrying out repairs. Health-related activities also featured strongly – things like running, cycling and healthy eating.
Staying connected is also important. That doesn’t just mean talking on the phone. It’s being in touch with people and events. Everything from reading newspapers to joining group video calls.
Project Discovery shows more people are doing new things to help build their resilience. Even better, 93% of those who started a new activity are intending to continue it.
The findings struck a chord with Adventurer Bear Grylls when we spoke with him on the topic. The Land Rover Ambassador knows all about the importance of resilience.
“Project Discovery highlights the importance of having a close-knit group of family, friends and colleagues to lean on when things get tough,” he said.
“The Discovery has been enabling everyday family adventures for more than three decades, so it’s fitting that the research has highlighted the importance of such activities. It comes as no surprise to me that highly resilient people are the group most likely to spend time outdoors.”
See what exploring the outdoors can look like here.
Prof Sir Cary Cooper is Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at MBS Manchester University in the UK. He 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 – now and in the future.”
Prof Sir Cary is sure that everyone can join in.
“What’s really interesting is that resilience clearly isn’t the preserve of captains of industry, political leaders or military personnel,” he said. “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 from grandchildren.”
The findings of Project Discovery highlight three key ingredients and behaviours common to people with a high resilience rating. These are: Friends and Family, Enrichment with Purpose and Spirit of Discovery.
This insight allows Land Rover to reveal the formula for resilience.
It looks like this: R = 2F + EwP + SD.
Complicated? It’s actually pretty straightforward.
First, R means Resilience.
Then 2F. That equals Friends and Family.
Project Discovery shows that people with high resilience have an increased desire to connect with others. They enjoy a close-knit support structure of friends and family. Remember, 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 means Enrichment with Purpose. That’s learning new skills, both mental and physical.
We saw that focusing on activities with a clear end goal is key here. The results show that 72% of people with high resilience scores enjoy learning new things. That’s 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.
Finally, SD is Spirit of Discovery.
Exploration and an awareness of what’s going on around you builds resilience. More than half of people with high scores like finding new places to explore – 41% higher than people with low resilience. And they are 61% more likely to have an active interest in news and current affairs.
So Project Discovery shows what we can all do to improve our resilience in these challenging times. Connect with your family and friends as much as you can. Learn new skills, physical and mental. And harness your Spirit of Discovery whenever you can.
Or, to put it another way: R = 2F + EwP + SD.
See where your Spirit of Discovery could take you:
You can read more insights from Project Discovery here.