Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life


What is the book “Resilience” about?

The book teaches its readers how to take a punch, how to cope with your tragedies and recover from emotional dramas. In a challenging time, it will help to overcome your weaknesses, to gain courage and to move forward again.

“Resilience” consists of a series of letters exchanged between Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, a boxing champion, a writer, and a recent Governor of Missouri, and his friend and a colleague Zach Walker, who went through a tough period in his life.

A former Navy SEAL who was serving in hot spots, Walker returned to his civilian life and, like many soldiers who went back home, he couldn’t find himself.

During military school, where he and Greitens were training together, he was a reliable and robust soldier. He loved his friends, was fair and brave. People could always rely on him. He came from a line of lumberjacks and was used to the simple and honest life with nothing lavish; he was ready to help at any moment.

The first letter by Walker was a complete surprise for Greitens. After six years of service, Walker was demobilized and returned to his wife and son in Northern California. He started his own business, took care of his family and was friends with his neighbors. Everything seemed to be okay. But he had a problem – Walker was struggling with alcohol. He couldn’t stop drinking and would often pass out.
Soon after his return home, his brother Ed drove his truck into a tree at full speed and died. Walker’s pain led him to the bottle even stronger, and he’d soon be heavily addicted to alcohol. Soon, he started clashing with police, which led him to his arrest, and the trial was about to take place.

Walker was staying in a medical institution where he was diagnosed with PTSD and was prescribed a bunch of pills. He abandoned his business, became unemployed and was drinking his compensation away. Greitens realized that if it wasn’t for the fights with police, something else could happen, like drunk driving with a bad outcome, or a fight or something like that. And there was no one else to blame but Walker himself. A war hero became an unemployed alcoholic, who could’ve gone to prison.

Even before that letter, Greitens was thinking a lot about how people must overcome hardship to find their way to harmony. Walker’s message, which needed a reply, helped these thoughts to form into a system of recommendations for his confused friend, and not only for him but also for anyone who’ve lost their way. So, Greitens was writing, and Walker was replying. Those were the letters about human resilience, how to find it and what does it mean. This book consists of those edited letters.

Summary and 10 Ideas of “Resilience”:

Idea №1 People who succeed in their work, have learned to treat their failures with patience.

Idea №2 In the struggle for something meaningful, we build our character.

Idea №3 People learn by imitating others.

Idea №4 You can take your emotions under control and force them to serve you for good.

Idea №5 To become the person you want, imagine that you already did.

Idea №6 Change your habits to change the direction of your life.

Idea №7 The more responsibility we take on ourselves, the more resilient we become.

Idea №8 Self-justification is our worst enemy.

 Idea №9 Only through practice we achieve perfection in any endeavor.

Idea №10 The path to wisdom leads through the pain.

Review “Resilience”

After the introduction, which mentions written exchanges with an alcoholic friend, the reader may think that he’s holding a collection of dull preachings and notations. But that would be a false impression. Greitens isn’t preaching – he’s just showing us how to take a punch. The author’s unique personality is felt in every line: a healthy person teaches others how to be strong themselves.

Understandable and straightforward presentation, many examples of ancient philosophies combined with stories of great people’s lives successfully blend in this smart and useful book.

Pros and Cons

  • Valuable ideas, exciting stories, and examples, the simplicity of presentation.
  • The recurring repetition of ideas.

About Author Eric Greitens

Author of the book Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better LifeEric Robert Greitens (born April 10, 1974, St. Louis, Missouri) is an American soldier and politician representing the Republican Party. Governor of Missouri (since January 9, 2017).

He studied at Duke University, where he studied ethics, philosophy, and politics. After receiving Scholarships from Rhodes and Truman, he studied at Oxford University from 1996 to 2000, received his master’s degree in 1998 and his Ph.D. in 2000. As a volunteer for international humanitarian organizations and a photographer, he worked in Rwanda, Cambodia, Albania, Mexico, India, Bosnia, and Bolivia.

In January 2001, he joined the Navy and was trained as an officer of the fur seal division. He took the position of commander of a boat, spent several weeks in Afghanistan, performing special tasks, and then transferred to South-East Asia as the unit commander. In Thailand, there were instances of drug use by servicemen and achieved their dismissal. In the Philippines, the detachment of Grytens liquidated the transit point of the terrorist group. Then he commanded a division of 50 people in Kenya, on the border with Somalia, where he received positive recommendations from two higher commanders to transfer him to the platoon commander but preferred to leave military service.  In 2014, Fortune magazine placed Grytens on the 38th place in the ranking of the 50 “greatest leaders” of the world.

Watch and listen to his thoughts about book “Resilience”



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