Twenty people from all walks of life were interviewed for this book. In their own words, they tell what it takes to thrive through the most difficult times in their lives. Do they have a secret formula that allows them to transform their adversity into the very process that makes them do well? Do they have anything in common with each other?
Peg Nosek, one of the thrivers, described how in her youth she relentlessly pursued her passion for music. One day in high school, she was lying on the couch at home, listening to the radio. The program was playing Prokofievs Peter and the Wolf. I heard this heart-wrenching soliloquy by the oboe, and it touched me so deeply. I thought to myself, I want to learn how to make that sound. Because she had breathing difficulties from a genetic disease, it took her over a year to convince the band director at her school and her parents to let her try. She got a tutor during the summer, and when school began, she said, I zoomed right up to first chair.
Anyone going through a tough time will learn what Peg knew about her personality traits, what she believed in, and how skillful she was at finding the necessary support to, not only overcome the odds against her, but to flourish. Parents, teachers, and youth workers will learn how important their role is in demonstrating resilience. Every one of the thrivers said they had someone who believed in them and encouraged their talents when they were young.