Lessons from a Palm Tree and a Pike

You have to be flexible to be resilient. The world we live in changes dramatically compared to the world even one generation ago. If we are too rigid and inflexible it will harm our chances of dealing effectively with the adversity that disrupts our life. A rigid Maple tree may snap when high winds […]

Nature as a Stress Reliever

What is it about getting out into nature that relieves stress? Whether it’s a hike on a forest trail, canoeing on a remote river, or just sitting on the beach watching the sun set, being in the natural world has a calming effect. I don’t know why, maybe it’s just because it helps to […]

What does it Take to be Successful?

What trait do you think is critical in achieving success? Some would say intelligence; others might say having a good education. What about vision, passion, being a goal-setter? Knowing the right people certainly helps.

Yes, all those things can help lead you toward success, but they are not the key element.

Resiliency is a critical ingredient […]

Be Like Water

That is a quote from Bruce Lee. He was teaching his student to be formless, shapeless and adaptable. It is also a lesson in resilience.
Every kid likes to throw stones in a pond to watch the splash and the diverging ripples. The circles expand, but then disappear within seconds. It doesn’t matter how big […]

Informal Peer Support

Yesterday I spoke at a conference where the audience was fun, positive and energetic. You’d never guess that they are managers in an agency that is dealing with details of horrible trauma on a daily basis. And because they are managers, they are stuck in the middle between the front line employees and the […]

Doing Meditation

Don’t learn about meditation, just starting doing it.
People have told me that they want to read and educate themselves about meditation and the different types such as transcendental, mindfulness, guided visualization, Japa etc. It seems big and complicated. I understand, because I did the same thing. I bought three books on meditation before I even tried […]

Trauma does not equal PTSD

I have read articles where the author said that PTSD is a normal reaction to trauma, or a normal reaction to an abnormal event.  But it’s not true.  Usually the people that say that are people that have suffered with PTSD.  However science doesn’t support that view.

George Bonnano a leading resilience researcher from Columbia […]


Based on informal surveys that I have conducted, I’ve found that almost everyone has heard of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but almost no-one has heard of PTG (Post Traumatic Growth).  This is surprising considering that PTG is much more prevalent than PTSD.  Most people that go through a major trauma do not get […]

Stress Resistance vs. Resilience

What’s the difference and which is better?
Resilience is the ability to adapt to significant adversity and trauma, to recover quickly, to bounce back.  Resilient individuals may have an acute stress reaction after going through a traumatic incident.  They may go into a tail-spin and suffer temporary symptoms such as sleeplessness, shock, anxiety, disbelief, and […]

Does Self-discipline Make us Resilient?

Yes, but why?
I have studied research on the various resiliency factors, and the reasons why most of these factors increase resilience are pretty straight forward.  It makes sense at first blush that having a good support system in the form of a loving family would help you get through challenges.  It’s obvious that if […]