The title of this article is a lie. I don’t actually know how to survive. I don’t even know if I have.
As of this writing, my mom died less than three months ago. I found out she was sick on the first of April; she got her cancer diagnosis twenty days later. She lived for five weeks after that.
At one point — after diagnosis but before death — I sat in the bathtub after a long day keeping vigil by my mom’s bedside, noticing the chipped remnants of pink nail polish on my toes. When I had put that polish on, I didn’t even know she was sick. Continue reading How to Survive When A Loved One Dies
It is possible to experience childhood adversity and still feel good as an adult. In my most recent study of 310 successful men and women — featured in my latest book, The Adversity Advantage — 40% experienced child abuse, witnessed domestic violence, or had an alcoholic/substance abusing parent struggling with addiction. If you broaden the definition to include poverty, death of a family member, divorce, or mental illness, 60% experienced serious childhood adversity. In spite of these impactful childhood problems, this group of successful people reported a high level of life satisfaction as adults, much higher than the average in the population.
Many reported that things did not come easily for them, however. They grew up with poor role models for communication, conflict negotiation, self-esteem, forming relationships, and expression of anger. The abuse they experienced created many personal and work problems. Turning their adversity into successes required them to become students of factors that lead to success.
Continue reading How to Turn Your Childhood Hardship Into Success