Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed
Authors:Dr. George S. Everly Jr., Dr. Douglas A. Strouse, Dr. Dennis K. McCormack
Pub Date: August 2015
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814436042
Page Count: 240
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436059
Buy the book:
Chapter 1: Active Optimism and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
“In times of conflict or uncertainty there is a special person ready
to answer the call; a common person, with an uncommon desire
to succeed. I am that person. I stand ready to bring the full
spectrum of resources to bear in order to achieve my goals. . . . In
the worst of conditions . . . I will not fail.” These words, adapted
from the U.S. Navy SEAL Ethos, describe the type of person most
of us would like to be. They certainly describe the type of person
most businesses want to employ—and rapidly promote. But what
do these people have that others don’t?
What is the secret of experiencing extreme adversity and
bouncing back stronger than you were before? More than 40 years
ago, we set out to try to answer that question. Interestingly enough,
setbacks, even failure, are a common experience associated with
almost all human endeavors.
Everyone reading this book has faced adversity, and each has
failed at least once in life. The issue is neither adversity nor failure
per se, but what happens in the wake of adversity when you find
yourself in the dark abyss of despair. Successful people fail. Happy
people fail. The key doesn’t lie in the nature of the adversity. What
really matters is the degree of personal resilience you possess in the
wake of the adversity.
Personal Resilience Defined
Personal resilience, what we sometimes think of as psychological
body armor, is your ability to bounce back, to pick yourself up and
try again, and again and again, until you either succeed or decide
on a more productive direction. Resilience is your ability to see
yourself in the dark abyss of failure, humiliation or depression—
and bounce back, not only to where you were before, but to even
greater heights of success, happiness, and inner strength. Resil-
ience helps you withstand adversity. Think of it as a form of im-
munity that helps you make good decisions under pressure,
motivates you for the achievement of peak performance, and al-
lows you to bounce back quickly and effectively.
Science has shown that not only can you rebound from adversity
and trauma, but you can also grow to be better than you ever
were. As George Eliot once noted, “It is never too late to be what
you might have been.”
Five Factors of Personal Resilience
From our research we concluded that successful people share a set
of five core factors that equip them with personal resilience. Just as
a suit of physical body armor protects the wearer from physical
injury, it seems to us that a suit of psychological body armor can
protect you against psychological distress and emotional injury.
We believe that our five factors of personal resilience enable people,
organizations, and even entire communities to withstand or
rebound from adversity. They enable us to see opportunity in crisis.
In psychologically toxic environments, they enable us to grow
Our goal for this book is to share with you the five factors of
personal resilience and to show you ways you can develop this psy-
chological body armor for yourself and foster it in others. While
we have written about our preliminary findings on this topic in
scientific and more readily accessible formats, this book represents
our sometimes startling new conclusions, honed through more
than four decades of research and experiential refinement.
Our five factors of personal resilience are:
1. Active Optimism. Optimism is more than a belief, it’s a man-
date for change. It’s the inclination to move forward when
others are retreating. This mandate can be so strong that it
can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But to do so it must
lead to . . .
2. Decisive Action. Optimism is not enough. You must be decisive
and act in order to rebound. As Clare Boothe Luce observed,
“Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues
mount.” You must acquire the courage to make difficult
decisions. Making hard decisions is easier when it is based
upon a . . .
3. Moral Compass. Use honor, integrity, fidelity, and ethical
behavior to guide your decisions under challenging circums-
tances.Once your decisions have been implemented, employ
. . .
4. Relentless Tenacity, Determination. Persistence can be om-
nipotent. As comedian Jonathan Winters once quipped, “If
your ship doesn’t come, swim out to meet it!” Be persistent,
while at the same time knowing when to quit. To find hidden
opportunities and aid in physical and psychological energy,
rely upon . . .
5. Interpersonal Support. Who has your back?
Search the full text of this book
Search Full Text of
For single copy purchases of any AMACOM title, you can connect directly to the online retailer of your choice, from the list below, to buy the title you have selected. Most of our links will take you directly to that title on the site, making your shopping experience easier. You can also visit your local retailer, and if the book is not on their shelves they can special order it for you.
Retailers: Please contact us to change or add a listing.
Buying in Bulk?
We have very competitive discounts starting at 5 copies, as well as personal service, for bulk orders. Simply contact our Special Sales Department. Call 800-250-5308 or 212-903-8420 and ask for Special Sales. You can also email: SpecSlsWeb@amanet.org