The noted research psychiatrist explores how life’s
disappointments and difficulties provide us with the lessons we need to become
better, bigger, and more resilient human beings.
Adversity is an irreducible fact of life. Although we can
and should learn from all experiences, both positive and negative, bestselling
author Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, believes that adversity is by far the best
teacher most of us will ever encounter.
Whether the adversity one experiences is the result of poor
decision-making, a desire to test one’s mettle, or plain bad luck, Rosenthal
believes life’s most important lessons—from the value of family to the
importance of occasionally cutting corners—can be best learned from it.
Running counter to society’s current prevailing message that
“excellence” must always be aspired to, and failure or mistakes of any sort are
to be avoided at all costs, Rosenthal shows that engaging with our own failures
and defeats is one of the only ways we are able to live authentic and
meaningful lives, and that each different type of adversity carries its own
challenges and has the potential to yield its own form of wisdom.
Using stories from his own life-including his childhood in
apartheid-era South Africa, his years after suffering a violent attack from a
stranger, and his career as a psychiatrist—as well as case studies and
discussions with well-known figures like Viktor Frankl and David Lynch,
Rosenthal shows that true innovation, emotional resilience, wisdom, and dignity
can only come from confronting and understanding the adversity we have
experienced. Even when life is hardest, there are meanings to be found, riches
to be harvested, and gifts that can last a lifetime.
Rosenthal illustrates his message through a series of
compact, memorable chapters, each one drawn from episodes in the lives of his
patients, colleagues, or himself, and concluded with a take-away maxim on the
lesson learned. Download and start listening now!