We Need to Learn Resilience … and Fast

February 12, 2020

Book Review by Andy Ghillyer

It is possible, in spite of the constant social and traditional media onslaught of negativity, to find much to be grateful for in our modern society. Medicine and technology have delivered cures for diseases and injuries that were once considered fatal. For most of us, famine and wars are the stuff of history. And yet, something is terribly wrong.

In his new book You Are Awesome: How to Navigate Change, Wrestle with Failure, and Live an Intentional Life, author and professional speaker Neil Pasricha pulls back the curtain on this façade of having it all and examines some of the less palatable aspects of our modern society.

Porcelain Dolls

Technology may have given us comfort and convenience, but it has also warped our perspective of success and the other side of the same coin, failure. After being bombarded with messages of success, we can no longer handle failure. Pasricha refers to us as “an army of porcelain dolls,” that crack at the first perceived crisis, whether that’s a rude email from the boss, or a post that only gets a couple of likes.


The author’s solution to this problem is the development of personal resilience. Using a palatable combination of biography, humor, and motivation, he presents nine research-backed secrets to navigate the challenges that life will likely throw at you when you least expect it (or feel least equipped to handle it).

The secrets are grounded in personal stories. The first features the challenges the author’s mother experienced growing up in Nairobi, Kenya and ends with a simple phrase––“add a dot-dot-dot”––to signify the need to simply keep going when challenges are encouraging you to just give up and put a period at the end of that phase of your life. The dot-dot-dot takes you past the period.

Shifting the spotlight reminds you that while your failure may feel like the eyes of the world are upon you, you’re not really that important in the grand scheme of things. So, instead of remaining frozen in the imagined headlights, shift that spotlight and focus on changing the variables that led to your error. If you see the mistake as a step to the next opportunity it becomes a much more manageable hurdle rather than an impenetrable wall.

As you grow and build life experiences and baggage––Pasricha has already shared stories of embarrassing failure at his first job out of college and getting divorced by this point in the book––you will need to develop the ability to tell yourself a different story. Resilience comes when you commit to failing in the absolute confidence that it will lead to a win, sharing that failure, and believing that you will never, never stop until you build the life you have always envisioned for yourself.

You Are Awesome offers nine secrets for achieving the resilience you need to manage the failure, uncertainty, and change that can blindside your week, month, or year. Using detailed research and personal stories, Neil Pasricha offers a path to transform yourself from anxious to awesome.


Andy Ghillyer

Andy Ghillyer is a Contributing Writer at Soundview. He lives in Tampa, FL where he specializes in writing for the B2B and academic markets while raising a growing menagerie of cats and dogs. His other reviews are here.


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