CHAPTER 4 BURNOUT

THE ROLE OF RESILIENCE

The human capacity for burden is like bamboo—far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.

JODI PICOULT, MY SISTER’S KEEPER

THROW OUT THE DICTIONARY

If I ask any person to give me a simple definition of resiliency, the answer is always “bounce back.” That is certainly on the mark for the first definition by Merriam-Webster: “The ability of something to return to its original size and shape after being compressed or deformed.”

This works just fine if you are a piece of steel, a willow tree, or a sofa cushion—but not if you are a human being. When we experience the compression of stress or an event that knocks us down, we are forever changed. You either stay down or you grow through it. There ...

Get Burnout to Breakthrough now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.