Now, wait a second, I tell Stoltz, feeling a mite defensive. I've weathered my share of adversity--serious illness, romantic breakups, the financial burdens of a single mother, allergies. Hey, I even survived a kitchen remodel and lived to tell about it.
Surviving is not the real point, said Stoltz, who took a moment to reassure me that I was clearly competent and had even earned a level of prestige. "But what I would probably say is, when adversity stacks up, it takes more of a toll than it needs to." Think of the life you waste, he chided me, worrying and ruminating over things that almost certainly will not turn out as horribly as feared.
OK, he's got me there. So, I ask, how can I improve on this so-so AQ?
Easy, he says. Follow his LEAD. I should:
* Listen to my own response to adversity. Is it a high or a low AQ response?
* Explore the origin of the adversity and my ownership of the result. What portion of the origin was my fault? What could I have done better? What aspects of the result should I own?
* Analyze the evidence. What evidence is there that I have no control? What evidence is there that the adversity has to reach into other areas of my life? What evidence is there that the adversity must last a long time?