This book can help anyone—small business entrepreneurs, single mothers, public sector employees, and more—learn to cope with the challenges in their lives. The author’s premise is that people can learn to be adaptable and actually develop resiliency in order to better deal with drastic change and setbacks. “Highly resilient people,” says Siebert, “are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly, and thrive in constant change.”
Based on research that identified the main attributes of resiliency, this is the first book to describe the multiple levels of adaptability that people can achieve. It identifies the barriers to resiliency and how to overcome them, like learning to stop placing blame: “Blaming others for ruining the life you had will block you from bouncing back.” Most people experience trauma during their lives, and this book offers lessons in how to better handle stress, major change, and hardships. A resiliency quiz in chapter two helps readers assess their strengths and weaknesses.
It’s a methodical approach to mind over matter via a five-level program developed by the author, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, is director of the Resiliency Center, and is internationally recognized for his research on the new science of resiliency psychology. He also authored The Survivor Personality and The Adult Student’s Guide to Survival and Success, and his articles have appeared in a number of notable magazines and newspapers.
The first level of resiliency, says Siebert, is to optimize one’s emotional and physical health to reduce stress. The second level contains techniques for analytical, creative, and practical problem solving—ways to overcome a setback, such as turning a job loss into an opportunity to begin a new career. Other levels build on strengthening the inner self, and the power of positive expectations and optimism. Level five discusses strengthening one’s talent for serendipity, an ability to find good fortune even in a bad situation.
The book is full of pertinent examples, such as the story of two friends who started a small recording business called Centerpointe Research Institute, and were sued for a million dollars by a competitor. Rather than being paralyzed by the fear of losing everything, owner Bill Harris overcame his feelings of anxiety and helplessness and instead developed a plan to aggressively pursue his dream of growing the company. Not only was the lawsuit ultimately dropped, but Bill turned his dreams into a highly profitable company and career.
Readers will find that this well-written volume provides plenty of easy activities for developing resiliency, as well as some tried-and-true advice, like: “When something ‘bad’ happens, if you focus on what you want, keep your mind off what you don’t want or are worried about, or take action, then miraculous things can happen.”