I resolve to increase my capacity to overcome adversity.

Fall down seven times, get up eight
~ Japanese Proverb

Everyone gets knocked down, winners are those who get back up. The capacity to face & overcome adversity – to get back to one’s feet after being knocked to the ground – is one the most important traits that distinguish people who succeed n creating rich & purposeful lives from those who do not. All genuinely successful people have this trait in abundance, and no one who does not possess this trait – or learn to develop it – will ever experience significant & long-term success.

To describe the quality of character, I’m going to borrow the term adversity quotient, or AQ, from Paul G. Stoltz, PhD. In his landmark book Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities, Stoltz writes:

Your success in life is largely determined by your AQ:

  • AQ tells you how well you withstand adversity& your ability to surmount it.

  • AQ predicts who will overcome adversity & who will be crushed.

  • AQ predicts who will exceed expectations of their performance & potential and who will fall short.

  • AQ predicts who gives up and who prevails.

If you implement all the other resolutions but fail in this one, then it will all unravel when things get turbulent. It is during the gloomy times, those days/seasons when everything seems to go wrong,that both victims & victors are born.Which one you become in those resiliencemoments depends on the choice you make to persevere or to give in.

Great leaders have unyielding perseverance in their quest for meaningful success.

What exactly is this elusive quality? Stoltz discusses the traditional capacity of IQ, a measure of intelligence, and EQ, the emotional counterpart to IQ introduced in 1995 by psychologist Daniel Goldman in his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence, and offers AQ as a crucial third dimension of character.

To those, however, I would add one more measure & propose that AQ is a combination of mental & emotional capacities, leavened with the driving force of will. Here is the formula:


In other words, your capacity to overcome and face adversity is equal to your intelligence (IQ) multiplied by your emotional maturity (EQ/Emotional Quotient) multiplied by your will quotient – that is, your drive to fulfill your purpose. Thus AQ combines the strengths of the mind, heart & will.”

~ Excerpted from Resolved Primer, A Look Into the 13 Resolutions, by Orrin Woodward

About gabulmer

Christian apologist, husband, father, runner, blogger, leader with LIFE Leadership.
This entry was posted in In the Trenches, Leadership, Mentoring, Notes from the Frontline, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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