Imagine if Thomas Edison, who grew up poor and without much formal education, hadn’t persevered through the hardships in his life. Almost entirely deaf from an early age, Edison created the carbon transmitter, which made it easier to hear sounds on the telephone. That invention led to a string of others, including his most widely recognized: the phonograph and the lightbulb.
What kept Edison going? Biographers describe his inclination to solve problems and tinker, as well as his persistence, but there was something else, too. Persevering in the face of adversity requires resilience. “I have not failed,” Edison famously said. “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Some people are naturally resilient. They have a positive attitude and find ways to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their goals. But anyone — even those who aren’t resilient by nature — can build this capability.
In a work context, it’s