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“How do you turn adversity into strength?”

This is the question that author Josh Floyd, and – quite frankly – many other people, have asked.

The concept has been catching on in recent years, giving people a framework by which to grow beyond their own pain. Psychological resilience or emotional resilience can even be measured, as research psychologists have created a way to determine how resilient an individual may be. For example, a few years ago psychological researchers studied West Point cadets, and, as it turns out, the ones who scored higher on a resilience test tended to make it all the way through until graduation.

But reliance is something we can all use, as life has an interesting way of throwing hurtles in our way.

“Mentally strong people have the ability to see the positives in tough circumstances,” Floyd writes. “Rather than seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, [these people] recognize that its possible for good things to come from hardship.”

According to the authors, some of the traits that resilient individuals have include the following:

  • Looking for the silver lining
  • Focusing on your strengths
  • Choose your response
  • Finding your calling
  • This too shall pass

These are, of course, not the complete list of resilient traits, but they may give a person a rough sketch of some of the philosophy of resilience.

One of the nice things about resilience is that it can be learned. Sure, some people appear to be more resilient than others, but there is certainly no “resilient gene.” Often times, individuals may learn how to be resilient in the midst or in the aftermath of a personal crisis. When tragedy strikes, rather than thinking “Why does this have to happen to me?” resilient individuals may say to themselves, “OK, now what do I do to make my way through this.”

Resilience is an attitude, a personal philosophy that one may develop to overcome adversity. And it is developed by practice.

“Mentally strong people recognize they won’t be able to combat stress if they’re worn out or running on empty,” Floyd writes in his book, “Resilience.” “They take regular time out to relax and recharge their batteries.” He goes on to write: “Taking time out isn’t self-indulgent. It’s an essential strategy for coping with the ups and downs of life. Problems are easier to overcome from a state of relaxation.”

Ultimately, resilience is a fascinating topic, as it highlights how individuals may grow past their own personal pain and become something more. Finally, life will certainly throw us a few hardballs . . . that is almost certain. That said, however, resilient people may be better able to handle those hardballs than non-resilient individuals.


Floyd, J. (2019). Resilience: how to turn adversity into strength. Summersdale Publisher, UK.

Kenny Luck
Kenny Luck
Kenny Luck is an author and educator from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. A graduate of Marywood University in Scranton, PA, Luck holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and graduated with a Master's Degree in Education from the same institution in 2010. He has written for local publications such as The Weekender. His published work includes: Thumbing Through Thoreau (2010), NEPATIZED (2011), and 101 Facts of Love (2014). Luck has worked in public relations and media, and has taught college-level writing courses at several colleges and universities around Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2010, he was voted "Best Author" by Electric City readers.

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