It’s one thing to write a self-help book about a topic like resilience when life is going well. It’s quite another to write one after being blindsided by a life-changing event that forces you to adapt and rethink your life’s purpose. In Proactive and Applied Resilience: The Sixteen Experiences, University of Utah professor Glenn E. Richardson sets the stage with his riveting story about being hit by a speeding driver while crossing the street and suffering serious injuries.
With the goal of helping readers access innate “energy, vitality and wisdom” to guide them through adversity, the professor explores different types of resilience that begin with disruptions (some welcome, some not) and end with growth and recovery. He admits that his often-cerebral terminology—“energy packets,” “postulates,” “ecobiopsychospiritual homeostasis”— might be baffling at first but notes that they’ll become clear later on. Indeed, such words can be daunting, but most of the terms turn out to be more intimidating than their definitions. The “Q-Nexus,” for example, is “the experience of discerning what to do, knowing when to do it, feeling confident that it is the right thing to do, and experiencing an infusion of energy to make it happen.”
Fortunately, plentiful stories—the author’s, his acquaintances’, even those of historical figures—balance the author’s esoteric approach, along with activities to help readers discover their own paths to resiliency by, for example, being more mindful of nature and reactivating childhood creativity. What’s more, Richardson’s advice rings true. In one chapter, he explains how to “study it out,” when trying to overcome fears; in another, he encourages us to leave our comfort zones and make proactive changes; otherwise, life will do it for us.
Overall, this book will probably appeal to more intellectual readers. Getting through it is like running a marathon; you have to be committed. But while the journey is arduous, many will find the result—a deeper perspective on finding strength amidst change—worth the effort.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.