I am reading a very interesting book by Shawn Achor, “The Happiness Advantage.” At one point, he tells about how psychologists used to tell soldiers who were going into combat that they were either going to come back normal or with post-traumatic stress disorder. But when they analyzed returning soldiers, they found that many of them were better people because of their experiences. They were more mature, better able to listen rather than argue, more compassionate, more open to spiritual growth, and even had improved overall life satisfaction.
The psychologists discovered the same thing happening to others who experienced other challenging situations: cancer, death of a close friend or family member, serious accident and other serious events. They began referring to these positive responses as post-traumatic growth. We all have heard the stories of people who came back from challenges: Michael Jordan cut from his high school basketball team, Walt Disney fired for not being creative, the Beatles turned away from recording companies and Thomas Edison, who failed a thousand times to develop a light bulb that actually worked.
What is it that causes some people to learn to be helpless or instead learn to live through the stress and come out better because of the challenge? What makes a person become a survivor instead of a victim? This book is very interesting. It offers many ideas that are worth some serious consideration. I hope you can find a copy. Read it and enjoy.