Become-like-theOne of the key predictors of stress mastery and success in life is something called stress resilience, which refers to our ability to bounce back from adversity.

A recent Scientific American Mind cover story on stress resilience, quotes a Harvard Business Review article by Dean M. Becker, founder of Adaptive Learning Systems, who says,

“more than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics and it’s true in the boardroom.”

A powerful metaphor for stress resilience is that we are to become like the hot coal and not the burning match. What’s the difference? It’s simple: when the winds of stress blow upon us – as they always will — the hot coal will burst into flames of light, illuminating our life, while the match will just burn out. When we are ablaze in resilience, stress will not extinguish our core flame, it will—instead—ignite our passion to grow and improve and repair what is wrong in our lives and in the world.