Personal Resilience Part 1: Bad Things Happen

I was browsing LinkedIn the other day when I came across a post that I think was intended to be “inspirational”, but actually serves to have the opposite effect.  It was a picture of rose-coloured glasses with words that read something to the effect of: “If the world looks better through rose-coloured glasses, wear them.”

Now, I’m all for being optimistic and trying to see the good things in life (there are actually a lot of them once you start looking for them), but seeing the world through rose-coloured glasses is detrimental to personal resilience, and resilience in general.  If you go through life thinking that nothing bad can ever happen, you will be very surprised when something bad does happen.  Seeing only the good things in life leaves you entirely unprepared for the bad things that happen.

And bad things DO happen!  They happen all the time!  Cars crash, people die, houses are destroyed in fires, floods wipe out crops, and millions of other bad things happen every day.  As a firefighter/first responder and emergency manager, my career and vocation both depend on bad things happening.  Lets be clear, I don’t ever want something bad to happen, but that’s where my skills, strength, and experience are so you can believe me when I say that bad things happen all the time!

Understanding this and incorporating it into your worldview is an important first step to building personal resilience.  Just the knowledge that bad things happen sometimes will help you to see the world in a realistic way and better prepare you for the next step in building personal resilience: Sometimes, bad things happen to you.


I want to introduce you to a book that’s been out for over a decade, but still has some excellent advice and ideas to help you build your personal resilience.  If you buy through this link, a portion of your purchase may come back to me to help keep this blog running.

The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles


3 thoughts on “Personal Resilience Part 1: Bad Things Happen

  1. Pingback: Personal Resilience Part 2: Sometimes, Bad Things Happen to You… | Always Learning

  2. Pingback: Personal Resilience (Last) Part 4: What You can do About it… | Always Learning

  3. Pingback: Engaging Faith Communities in Emergency Management Functions | Always Learning

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