Stress bombards us from all directions. It comes at us in a never-ending array of shapes and sizes. Whether it comes from life-shattering adversity or the constant pressure brought on by today’s frenetic 24/7 pace – there is no escaping the experience of stress.
The key to making certain that stress is an ally that works for you (and not an enemy that works against you) is Asset-Based Thinking. In this Introduction, readers are shown how stressful experiences – from major to minor in scale – can actually build optimism and resilience rather than fuel anxiety and despair.
Reaping the benefits of stress is possible when you learn to choose how you think about stressful situations. When you choose to view stress from the Asset-Based Thinking perspective you zero in on what is useful, worthwhile – even valuable – about the situation. You ask yourself questions such as, “What does this stressful situation make possible? How could I benefit? How could others benefit?” Posing ABT questions yields a glimpse into the secondary gains associated with any major change or setback and provides a glimmer of hope. For example:
- Maybe losing your job could give you the opportunity to revisit a dream you gave up or imagine a path to reshape your career.
- Maybe delaying retirement will keep you actively involved and mentally more alert than you would be if you had fewer responsibilities
- Maybe financial troubles could provide opportunities to engage the whole family in learning how to earn, invest and spend money more wisely then ever before.
It is out of these initial answers to ABT questions that intelligent optimism about a better future is born. Once you cultivate the point of view that “something good can come of this – if I pursue the good
”, you begin to believe in yourself and your power to influence how things turn out. Herein lie the seeds of resilience.