Going the distance

Resiliency: Who goes the distance and why?

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. August 5, 2010

Everyone faces challenges in their lives. Some issues are financial, some are personal and some are professional. Regardless of the name tag or the name on the door, regardless of the paycheck or the bankroll, everyone experiences adversity.

I run marathons and train with a group of other runners. Over the course of 16 miles or so, people share their stories, the good and the bad. I'm always struck by the fact the struggles are fundamentally the same — the prodigal son, the estranged daughter, the retiree who feels unappreciated, the spouse who wants companionship but receives only rejection.

What I find truly fascinating is that although the issues may be the same, the way people respond varies greatly. Some individuals deal with a crisis head on, with poise and dignity, while others melt down and cease being able to function.

Where do the survivors find their resiliency? What does the hardy person have that the more fragile individual lacks? Is it spiritual energy? Mental fortitude? Creativity? Perseverance?

Please share your thoughts.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

Aug. 05, 2010