Resilience is a state of mind.

January 21st, 2011

Yesterday I received an email from friend and former colleague Mary Roberts, top banana at Buzz Monkeys PR. She had just finished reading Unbroken, the remarkable, true-life story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic athlete whose battered B-24 bomber plane crashed in the Pacific on a search mission during World War II. He survived in a life raft for 46 days only to be captured by the Japanese and spend two years of the war in some of the worst POW camps.

Mary told me there was a chapter about Louie and two other men’s experience in the life raft that made her think of Qinomics and the power of directing one’s thoughts and energy no matter what the circumstances. Because of their positive, hopeful, determined attitudes and how they approached their predicament, Louie and another man survived. The third man remained fearful, hopeless, despairing and was convinced he would die. No matter how encouraging his two raft mates were, he could not imagine survival. And he did die. (This extraordinary chapter can be read online in last month’s issue of Vanity Fair magazine.)

The full title of the book is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.” And it was the irrepressible energy of resilience that struck me most deeply while reading the Vanity Fair excerpt.

Harvard Business School Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter defined resilience as “the new skill” in a blog post earlier this month, titled Five Lessons from 2010 Worth Repeating. And resiliency is considered a key quality of effective leaders, according to leadership researchers and authors Fred Luthans and Bruce Avilio. (See Brain Food post dated 9/24/10) They describe it as one’s capacity to cope successfully in the face of significant change, adversity or risk. And they believe that resiliency – along with the other psychological traits of hope, optimism and confidence – are skills that can be learned and developed.

I’m happy to know that people think of me and Qinomics when it comes to the attributes that can define and contribute to one’s success. It’s my belief that the way you think and how you commit your energy allow you to create your experience. It’s my mission – my “why” – to help others direct their energy and creative power to achieve professional success and fulfillment, however they choose to define it.

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One Response to “Resilience is a state of mind.”

  1. […] Remember resilience? Your ability to cope successfully in the face of change or adversity and spring back with renewed energy and confidence. The PsyCap quality named when describing highly effective leaders. The “state of mind” I championed on 1/21/11. […]