Successful People are Reslient

Competence is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System.  I also discuss it in some detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent. 

There are four key competencies that will help you become a career and life success:

  • You have to be able to create positive personal impact.
  • You have to be become an outstanding performer.
  • You have to be a dynamic communicator – in conversation, writing and presentations.
  • You have to build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.

Resilience is an important component of becoming an outstanding performer.  High goals are great, but you need to do whatever it takes to meet those goals.  Sometimes, it will appear as if the fates are conspiring against you when it comes to achieving your goals.  That’s where resilience comes in.

In The Power of Resilience, Robert Brooks and Sam Goldstein list eight characteristics of resilient people.  Here they are, with my take on each of them.

  1. Resilient people have large networks.  They stay connected.  Last week, I did a post on mastermind groups and how they can help you perform better.  Mastermind groups are a way to build a supportive network.
  2. Resilient people are optimistic.  If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I am an incurable optimist.  You need to be so too.  Check out a post I did last week on The Optimist Creed.
  3. Resilient people are spiritual.  Mssrs. Brooks and Goldstein equate spirituality with religion.  I don’t.  I think there are many ways to be spiritual – meditation, conversations with your higher power, a walk in the park, or my favorite, a long bicycle ride on a nice day.  Regardless of your take on the spirituality/religion equation, you need to remember one thing.  The more spiritually centered you are, the more resilient you’re likely to be.
  4. Resilient people are playful.  They enjoy themselves.  They are willing to laugh at themselves and at life.  They see the humor in even the most difficult situations.
  5. Resilient people are givers.  I have long advocated that giving with no expectation of return is the best way to build strong relationships.  That’s why I’m always willing to help anybody in any way I can.
  6. Resilient people focus on what they can control.  As the serenity prayer says: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”  I’ve found that the one thing I can control is my response to people and events.  I try to choose to respond positively the negative people and events in my life.
  7. Resilient people are healthy.  It’s easier to deal with upsets and distractions when you are in good physical and mental shape.  That means eating right and exercising.  I find that things always look a little brighter after one of my bike rides.
  8. Resilient people see problems and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow.  Any time you fail, look for the lesson.  What will you do differently the next time you encounter a similar situation?  File away this information.  You’ll need it sooner or later.

Here are some affirmations to help you become more resilient.  Repeat them often and you’ll become a more resilient person.

  • I am a positive and upbeat person.
  • I am able to deal with high levels of ambiguity and uncertainty.
  • I adapt well and quickly to new situations.
  • I find the humor in difficult situations.
  • I learn from my experiences and the experiences of others.
  • I am good at solving problems.
  • I am strong and durable.
  • I am able to convert misfortunes into something positive.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are competent.  Competent people set and achieve high goals.  You need to be resilient in order to achieve your goals.  Here are a few tips for becoming resilient: build your network; become an optimist; exercise your spirituality; be playful; give back; focus on what you can control, not what is out of your control; stay healthy; learn from adversity.

That’s my take on resiliency and success.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, you have my deepest and most sincere thanks for reading.


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  1. Betty Strickland says:

    My motto for years has always been, “Never be a victim”. You do have control over your circumstances. When one of my daughters start telling me about something that is not fair at work (they are now young professional women) I tell them, don’t be a victim. See things as an opportunity and usually they will work out that way.
    I think your take on being resilient is saying the same thing and very true. Be an optimist! Stay healthy! Those are really key to all parts of your life, not just business.

  2. Jan Prinsloo says:

    Hi Bud,
    Another description that i found very helpful is CAPABILITIES. For this you can use the following combination
    Jan Prinsloo

  3. Good one Jan.

  4. Thanks for your comment Betty:
    I didn’t know you are a reader.
    Your daughters are like their Mom — not victims but young women responsible for themselves and their careers.

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