Resilience as a Predictor of Happiness; Are Women Different?

by Patricia Edwards (Submitted to

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Emotional Intelligence Quotient, or EQi, is the gold standard when it comes to being a predictor of success. EQi trumps IQ and can be enhanced through awareness, knowledge and accountability.

Of the fifteen factors measured by the assessment, several pertain to resilience: flexibility, stress tolerance and optimism being the strongest correlated to an individual’s capacity to adapt and endure despite obstacles and setbacks. Interestingly, two attributes are measured separately: happiness and optimism. While happiness is dependent upon circumstances and constantly shifting reactions to them, optimism is more of a permanent attitude toward the future and grounded upon the choices made.

Unfortunately studies show that women tend to be less resilient, and resiliency is a predictor of general happiness.

The good news, however, is that resiliency can be enhanced. Most feel less resilient in their lives if they feel a lack of control over their circumstances and their future. Therefore, developing a can-do attitude, based on recollection of past success, and coupled with thankfulness, can significantly increase overall optimism and resilience.

Where to start you may ask?

  • Try writing out a list of to-dos and working on them one at a time. Take large assignments or projects and break them into smaller components so you will feel progress and achievement. This, in turn, gives a sense of control and accomplishment.
  • End your day with journaling (writing it down is important) of the three things that went well. Be sure to include: 1) what specifically was “good”, 2) what you felt as a result and 3) what you specifically had to do with the “good thing”. You will be amazed at the lift this will give you after a week or so.
  • Choose personal improvement over reality TV. As a Human Resources Manager, I hear plenty of bizarre stories at work during the day – so many that I could be a script writer for a reality TV program. What I’ve found to heighten my sense of happiness, optimism and resilience is continuous personal development. While I ignored my own self improvement for years, I feel empowered when I set goals to increase my exercise regimen by one additional day per week and to read two non-fiction books per month. When you set the goals around areas of interest, you are in control and are more apt to be successful.

Developing new habits that support your feelings of well being and optimism are important. Stick with them and you will see amazing and positive changes.

Patricia Edwards has over 25 years’ experience as Human Resources Manager in Fortune 500 companies. She has been a trusted advisor to all levels of employees and now shares that wisdom with individual clients. She can be contacted at or

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The thoughts, concepts, statements, and opinions expressed by Patricia Edwards are not necessarily those of Jimmy DeMesa or This information from guest writers is provided to give other views to visitors and, therefore, and Jimmy DeMesa are not responsible for the content in these articles and blog posts.


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