She experienced more personal hardship than any woman should ever have to face. In a seven-year span of time she lost her mother, got married and then divorced when her husband abused her, suffered a miscarriage, lost her job, lapsed into depression and even contemplated suicide. But she persisted in her goal of becoming a novelist, even though she was repeatedly turned down by book publishers. But eventually J. K. Rowling did get a publisher and the Harry Potter series of books became a reality. J. K. Rowling has become the world’s first billionaire author.

Everyone will face personal struggles, but may not have the resilience to succeed as she had. What are the secrets to resilience? Certainly, stubborn persistence is one key. But what drives the persistence? A key to persistence is having a life’s purpose. In Rowling’s case, it was her writing.

But what happens if your life’s purpose goes unfilled? Resilient people don’t let others reject what they want to achieve in life. They won’t let others define them. They have a self-image that is steadfast.

Resilience also results from the encouragement of mentors who help facilitate opportunities for renewal and provide empathetic but realistic guidance.  They can also help you work through your struggles, to find your life purpose, and motivate you when you struggle.

In addition to mentors, resilient people need loved ones who believe in them. A key part of the resilience is a desire to make those that matter proud of them.

Resilient people also see setbacks as lessons learned not as defeats. To them, a set back is nothing more than a pathway that didn’t lead to the result they wanted. They don’t see setbacks as dead ends.

Imagine the societal costs of resilience failures. Virtually every major issue we face has some component that can be traced to a lack of resilience. How might we strengthen our capacity for resilience at all levels of society? How might we better understand the failure modes that lead to a lack of resilience? How can we help each other become more resilient?

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As you think about the above questions imagine what society might be like if everyone’s life purpose contained at least some small element of sharing their own resilience stories with others?


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