We were made for the struggle. Exposure to struggles, setbacks, and adversities can steel us to function better than expected with future challenges. Helen Keller, no stranger to adversity, wisely said “A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.” It is similar to an inoculation that gives us the strength to resist future exposure to a disease.

There are two ways to respond to adversity, setbacks, and losses. You can either survive or you can thrive. In other words, you can be weak or strong; in stagnation or movement. The choice is yours. Two people can be laid off from work. One will start his own gourmet popsicle company (true, by the way) and become successful, the other will wallow and be paralyzed by self-pity. The circumstances are the same, but the responses are wildly different.

Why is that? Well, the difference is RESILIENCE- the capacity to feel competent in the midst of setbacks and adversity; to bounce back and thrive from life changing times. Or as I say, to be “one tough cookie”. Diane Coutu in an exploration of resilience in the Harvard Business Review pointed out that:

“More than experience, more than education or training, resilience determines who succeeds and who fails”.

How are you going to respond to the challenges, changes, and setbacks in your own in life? Are you going to give in or get up? Giving in is easy. It’s the getting up part that’s hard.

Getting up from and not giving in to tough times will strengthen your resolve for life. You will garner persistence and accomplish things you never knew you could.

What are you experiencing right now that is a struggle, set back, challenge, or an adversity in these challenging and swiftly changing times? Maybe you are the owner of a company who is seeing profits drop and the bank account deplete. You might be an employee fearful of being laid off. Maybe it is the unrelenting pursuit of aging that’s tough to come to grips with. Are you a manager that agonizes on how to energize employees and fire up commitment in an atmosphere of low mood and morale? Becoming a parent creates its own challenges. Maybe a poor grade on a college entrance exam is getting you down. It could be an ingrown toenail that’s bugging you.

This little book is intended to help you bounce back and thrive no matter what-to find success at work and significance in life. It is here to assist you to get up one more time than you fall. The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything—they just make the most of everything they have. That’s not just syrupy drivel, but the god’s honest truth, and it’s resilient.

The really good news is that resilience is not necessarily an inborn personality trait, but a set of skills and attitudes that can be learned. It’s not relegated to only the extraordinary few. It’s what Anne Maston calls “ordinary magic”. In other words, you already are amazingly capable to bounce back, with untold reserves deep in your heart, mind, and soul that need to be unearthed and unleashed. Tapping into it leads to improved relationships, new possibilities, new strength, and a new spiritual fortitude. Presto!

How have you responded to setbacks? What lessons did you learn? Respond here>>

Creativity is essential to success today. That sounds obvious but it’s amazing how many people feel they just aren’t creative. Everybody is creative and has the spark within them. It just needs to be fanned and stimulated. Creative thinking has been behind the world’s greatest breakthroughs. Einstein came up with his theory of relativity by imagining what it would be like to ride a beam of light. Walt Disney was sitting at an amusement park and wondered what a clean park, great for families of all ages would look like. Disneyland was born. That’s creative thinking.

The last post looked at two stimulants for creativity: Be ready not to be Ready, and Let go of what’s going away. This post will look at two more.

Be a Deviant. In school you were always told to sit down and keep in place. Any unexpected outbursts was punished and the “naughtiest” kids were the ones always in detention. We were taught to play by the rules and keep in line. You were often told to color inside the lines and told bears aren’t purple.

Think of lego, the plastic building blocks that have entertained generations of children. It use to be you would just receive the blocks and were left to your own devices to build what was in you head. Now a days, you get your lego blocks along with a multipage guidebook telling you exactly what you need to do to build the ship or plane or whatever. Imagination gave way to instruction. Yet, it is coloring outside the lines and not playing by the rules that often lead to major breakthroughs. It is throwing away the instruction manual and venturing beyond the step by step. To be a deviant means venturing outside your comfort zone and the way things are.

Cultivate serendipity. Children operate with a natural curiosity and playfulness toward the world. What happened to that child in us? It’s been educated out of us and laid dormant so long we no longer believe we are creative anymore. But it’s arousing that inner child so that world looks new and fresh again that opens up possibilities in our lives. Think of a young child. You swoosh them up in the air and the next thing they say is, “Again”. They say it over and over again until your tired and give up. Think of God. He is eternally playful. He says to the sun rise and set. He says to the daisy bloom in the spring. He says to them to do it again and again. We are sub creators of the creator God but we often have outgrown even him.

Spend your days open to the daily presentations that occur all the time all around you. Your inner child that use to be so enraptured by the littlest things can be so again. That child never left. It only went hiding behind rules and regulations and monotony.

Activating your creative spirit takes coloring outside the lines in unstructured play. Be a child and play with the finger paints

What are some ways you can bring out that inner child? Respond Here>


The following is a powerful quote I came across today. I thought I would share it with you.