Friedrich Nietzshe’s quote: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” used to annoy me.  I have to admit that I do find Kelly Clarkson’s song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” quite catchy.

Yesterday, I saw a TED talk by a woman named Jane McGonigal, a game designer who suffered a serious brain injury, which caused her to go through an extremely traumatic year of pain and constant suicidal thoughts.

She came out of it with a game – and research which supports the notion of “what doesn’t kill you, etc.”  It is exactly the conclusion I, too, have reached after my own difficult journey of divorce, death, and quite a bit of loss, all at once, and all of it traumatic. 

This theory is called “Post Traumatic Growth” – and though it sounds crazy, I believe it’s true.

Here is what she discovered and it completely matches my own experience:

My priorities have changed, I’m not afraid to do what makes me happy.
I feel closer to friends and family.
I understand myself better.
I have a new sense of meaning and purpose.
I’m better able to focus on my goals and dreams.

In addition, the idea of resilience in the following areas increases and gives you the chance to live a life of fewer regrets:

Physical resilience
Mental resilience
Emotional resilience
Social resilience

This is not to say that we don’t have bad days…we do.  But somehow they feel more manageable then they used to.  I know it sounds crazy and I hope you don’t spend the day with the song “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” stuck in your head.  You should watch her talk on TED, it’s really good.

And if you find yourself singing the song, get up and dance!

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