Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World
January 08, 2018
Ama and Stephanie Marston's new book goes beyond grit, and into growth.
We all face adversity in our lifetimes. That is unavoidable. The only question is what we do in response to it. There have been some great books about that very topic published in the last few years, including the one that has led our yearly bestseller list for the last two, Angela Duckworth's Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.
Ama and Stephanie Marston's new book, Type R: Transformative Resilience for Thriving in a Turbulent World, fits into that category, and expands it at the same time. It extends beyond examining the qualities we need to persevere to explore the transformational possibilities inherent in moments of adversity. Because, while grit is essential to persevere, there are also opportunities for growth in our darkest hours. The Marston's, a daughter and mother team, begin the book by telling us some of their own struggles, and suggest that "adversity is a terrible thing to waste," And they believe we can do more than simply survive it, more than bounce back from it. Yes, we need to get back up, but we can use getting knocked down, or off our expected course, as an opportunity. The Marston's insist that:
Though resilience is important, it's not enough. There's no going back to who or where we were before challenging times. "Bouncing back" is not only a poor choice; it's often not possible.
Type R explains not only why that it true, but why it is increasingly important to be able to use moments of adversity as a catalyst for change. And that is what makes this book about something more than just personal perseverance and resilience. It goes beyond our development as individuals, and extends to our families and our communities—into how we all navigate a world that is itself increasingly complex, ever changing, and full of new challenges. It is, in that way, a book written in response to the present moment:
It's an investigation of this moment in history and why the realities that we're living are different from the past and bring with them unique challenges and pressures.
For instance, as some in the punditry prattle on about whether they're even occurring,the authors waste no time addressing how the global challenges of climate change and economic inequality are affecting lives and adding to the everyday challenges we've always faced. "Both the financial crisis and economic inequality," the authors write, "have diminished options and opportunities for young people, who have quickly become the poorest age group in America." We know that graduating into such a job market can drastically lower people's earning potential for an entire lifetime, and theirs will be a lifetime lived during tremendous change and volatility. The ability to weather that storm is essential, but to turn it to one's advantage, to be able to use it for sustenance and growth, is the greater goal. The Martstons explain what characteristics you'll need to cultivate to become a "Type R" individual, how to lead and build organizations with those characteristics, and how to bring it all home and raise families that display that type of transformative resilience.
Keep in mind that we all continue to be tested as individuals, members of a family, leaders, entrepreneurs, and part of a national and global community. Whether or not the challenges we face shake us to the core, there are always unexpected gifts waiting to be discovered.
You can't bounce back to where you were. You must grow into what you will become. We can't bounce back into the world as it was. We must build it anew. We will all face adversity, as individuals and communities, at home and at work. Internal and external turmoil will touch all our lives. By the looks of things at the moment, these stresses seem likely to increase. How we think about stress, and how we learn to thrive with it at our side and building all around us, and to build something new in spite or because of it, is what will determine our future. As the Marstons write:
With the challenges we face, we need a new generation of thinking—one that focuses on coping with a volatile world and transforming ourselves into people who can thrive in the new reality, both individually and collectively.
We have 20 copies available.