The Virtue of Resilience

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

If you are the person who tends to easily give up on life’s challenges, you need the virtue of resilience.  Resilience means the capacity to recover from setbacks.  The setback can be a broken relationship, a broken dream, a financial crisis, loss of loved one, loss of enterprise or loss of health.

It’s normal to feel angry or depressed when we experience trials and we should give ourselves time to mourn about it. But at the same time, we should not let the negative feelings go on for the rest of our life.  There should be a deadline. It’s when we feel we’ve given it enough period to grieve over our loss, and sense that our resolve to get back to our feet again is slowly coming back, and that it’s time we have to move on with our life.

In their book the “Resilient Self” by Steven and Cybil Woolen, the authors came up with the seven key skills that comprise resilience.  I’m just listing down a few here that I agree with.

First, is insight.  Insight means the ability to ask tough questions about yourself and be honest with your answers.  If you have something to do with your failure, be responsible enough to admit it, find the root cause, and correct it. If it requires a change of attitude on your part then you should slowly rectify your behavior.

Second, having a balance of self-reliance and getting help from others.  Self-reliance means the courage to work alone and the courage to ask for help if you think it can’t be done any more all by yourself.

Third, having initiative and being creative.  Initiative means taking control of the situation, make plans, and take action.  Being creative means thinking through the problem, analyze, look at it from different angles, get advice, come up with solutions, etc.

Fourth, have a sporting spirit and take time to laugh at your mistakes and failures.  When we regularly play sports, we don’t take defeats seriously and even laugh at them.  Defeat is part of the game of life and we should readily go back playing again after a loss.

And last, morality.  Whatever you do to get back on your feet, whatever you do to bounce back, do it in an honest and moral way.  Never resort to illegal means.  If you lose a business, don’t decide doing something illegal like selling drugs to recover your big loss and recover fast.  Quick and easy money often times is a recipe for disaster.  The same thing with taking shortcuts or cutting corners.  If you do dishonest and illegal things, you will make things worse.  You will have a problem bigger than you started.  And don’t ever think, that you will not get caught because you can’t predict the future.  In fact, statistically speaking, you will eventually get caught because you are going to do something bad regularly and anything that is done on a regular basis will sooner or later be noticed and get caught.  On the contrary, you should turn the table on your setbacks, that instead of becoming morally bad, your trials should make you grow in character.  To gain money but lose your character is worse than losing money because money can be recovered but losing your reputation can be status you suffer for the rest of your life.