cover image Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

Eric Greitens. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-544-32398-8

Former Navy SEAL Greitens (The Warrior’s Heart) builds on letters he wrote to a struggling comrade in this no-nonsense self-help book filled with lessons that can apply to anyone’s life. After Greitens’s friend Zach Walker returned from Afghanistan, he battled a lack of direction, PTSD, and alcoholism. The two reconnected and began writing and speaking often, after being out of touch for years. In a series of 23 letters, Greitens imparts his own hard-won wisdom. “If we limit our understanding of resilience to this idea of bouncing back, we miss much of what hardship, pain, and suffering offer us,” he writes. He also addresses topics like happiness, leadership, identity, responsibility, mastering pain, developing vocations, allowing yourself to relax, and even how to prepare for death. Using anecdotes from his own life, the two men’s shared military training, and ancient philosophers and warriors such as Epictetus, Philoctetes, and Seneca, Greitens sets out a series of practical lessons designed to move his friend—and readers—past difficulties. Greitens doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties involved in following his advice, but he convincingly argues that those who accept it are on the road to a brighter future. This book is a gift not only to Greitens’s comrades-in-arms, but to readers everywhere. [em](Mar.) [/em]