Adversity is a fact of life. Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise.
Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make a person resilient, such as a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Research shows that optimism helps blunt the impact of stress on the mind and body in the wake of disturbing experiences. And that gives people access to their own cognitive resources, enabling cool-headed analysis of what might have gone wrong and consideration of behavioral paths that might be more productive.
Resilience is not some magical quality; it takes real mental work to transcend hardship. But even after misfortune, resilient people are able to change course and move toward achieving their goals. There's growing evidence that the elements of resilience can be cultivated.