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Resilience

Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

By Eric Greitens
12-minute read
Audio available
Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens

Resilience (2015) encourages us to confront pain and hardship, using them to create meaning and find joy. The author doesn’t promise miracles, since there’s no easy cure for losing a loved one or facing other tragedies. He only promises the effectiveness of hard work, describing how to overcome the fear of failure and take responsibility for your own life. If you can do that, the challenges you face will only make you stronger, wiser and more courageous.

  • War veterans and returning soldiers who want to find their purpose in life
  • Anyone who has experienced loss, is struggling through a painful period or fighting self-doubt
  • People hoping to learn how to overcome challenges and lead a more fulfilling life

Eric Greitens is a former Navy SEAL and humanitarian aid worker. He is the founder of Center for Citizen Leadership, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans adjust to life back home. Greitens is the author of Strength and Compassion, which chronicles his experiences as a humanitarian aid worker.

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Resilience

Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

By Eric Greitens
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens
Synopsis

Resilience (2015) encourages us to confront pain and hardship, using them to create meaning and find joy. The author doesn’t promise miracles, since there’s no easy cure for losing a loved one or facing other tragedies. He only promises the effectiveness of hard work, describing how to overcome the fear of failure and take responsibility for your own life. If you can do that, the challenges you face will only make you stronger, wiser and more courageous.

Key idea 1 of 7

You need resilience to courageously overcome life’s challenges.

Are you living up to your full potential? The unfortunate truth is, many of us fail to access all our energy, intelligence and compassion because we get bogged down in disappointment and failure.

But we can learn to overcome hardship by harnessing the power of resilience. Because here’s the thing: none of us can escape pain, fear or doubts. But we can refuse to let difficult experiences bring us down! The trick is to see them in the right light. Overcoming obstacles is difficult, but doing so will make you stronger. Simply put, pain builds courage. You just have to be resilient.

That’s what the author learned after spending many years working with veterans. Those brave men and women lost both limbs and friends, not to mention purpose. But by facing the loss and overcoming their pain, they transformed it into something positive.

Consider the story of Redmon Ramos. After losing his leg by stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan, the former marine realized he had two choices: he could either pity himself or confront his pain. He chose the latter option and, as a result, became much stronger. With the help of prosthetics, Ramos eventually entered the US Paralympic Warrior Games and brought home several medals.

There’s a lesson here: the goal isn’t to bounce back from a hardship, but rather to move through it. History is full of similar stories – stories of people faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and managing to use their misery to their advantage.

Consider Miguel de Cervantes, a Spaniard imprisoned in 1602. To pass time in his cell, he invented a story about an old man who believed he was a knight. Eventually, that tale evolved into the first modern novel, a work of literature beloved to this day – Don Quixote.

We can all follow Cervantes’ lead and meet life’s challenges with courage and resilience.

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