The Power and Brilliance of Resilience

March 17, 2009

What exactly is resilience?  Resilience is the ability to bounce back from hardship or traumatic change and make the best of the situation.  Resilience is the ability to make a negative situation into a positive situation.  The power and brilliance of resilience comes from being forced to live in the present.  Before facing the traumatic change we might be inclined to tell ourselves that we cannot do something because it is too risky.  When we experience the traumatic change that mindset must disappear and be replaced by concentrating on what it takes to survive.  The fear is replaced with concentration on the present task. 

I didn’t go to college after high school because I didn’t think I was smart enough.  When I was thirty-years old I was laid off from a blue-collar job the same time my daughter was born.  I started college at age thirty and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in accounting and finance.  When I was forty, I survived a life-threatening brain tumor operation.  Afterwards, I joined Toastmasters and won several speech contests before getting even more speech coaching and becoming a part-time professional speaker.  After eighteen years in banking, I was laid off again.  I used this time to finish my book, “Internal Vision – A Ten-Day Journey to True Happiness” which is about my transformation during the brain tumor experience.  Here is one of my quotes from the book.


The Brilliance of Resilience


Adversity is directly related to living in the present.

Adversity forces you to focus all of your energy on what you can control.

You concentrate on little steps and you take one day at a time.

What if you had to be happy and there was no time for anything else?

What if you focused all of your energy on being happy right now?

What if you said the following two sentences?

“Someday, I will be happy, and I’ll be darned if today isn’t some day.”

“I promise myself and God I will be happy today.”

What then?


The power and brilliance of resilience is simply the ability to turn a negative situation into a positive one.  Sometimes it involves taking what you think is a negative characteristic and finding a place where it is considered to be a positive attribute.  Sometimes it involves finding opportunity in your current situation and taking that opportunity.  You simply have to start looking for how you can turn a negative into a positive and you will get better and better at it because you have to get better at it.  You can’t afford to let your mind get in the way.

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