“Just as nature takes every obstacle, every impediment, and works around it—turns it to its purposes, incorporates it into itself—so, too, a rational being can turn each setback into raw material and use it to achieve its goal.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Resilience is a well-known concept among expats. During the lunches with my Indian friends in Germany, we joked quite often about the adversities we faced abroad. Some had to take the driving-licence test several times, some had to have an interpreter at the doctor, some could go back home only once every two years, some faced snow for the first time…the list was long. 

Yet, everyone was training resilience on a daily basis and not giving up. 

The noun resilience derives from theLatin resilire, which means to bounce back or to recoil. It means to be able to stretch, to have the strength go back to an antecedent good situation after facing difficulties. It means to stay alive and human.

My Indian friends were training to be resilient leaders. They knew that obstacles were part of the process and that by overcoming these they would become stronger. The pain was there, but their hope and the ability to bounce back as well.

The feeling you have after having faced many adversities is of deep trust in yourself. You know that no matter where you are, you will find your way out, as you had managed it already several times. This sensation is empowering and gives every obstacle a different perspective; you start asking yourself: “what do I have to learn in this situation? What can I train this time, to improve myself?”.

When you begin to see adversities as opportunities for growth, you see your life changing.

Which are the traits of resilient leaders you know? What can we learn from them?