Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success
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Let’s face it: Setbacks happen, and failure is always a possibility. But here’s the good news: Amazing success has been achieved by people who once fell flat on their faces. The secret lies in how we respond to life’s bumps and pot holes and unwelcome detours—from getting fired or losing a business to enduring a professional rejection or pursuing a passion that fails to pan out. Misfortune, it turns out, can be a springboard to success.
In Rebounders, U.S. News & World Report journalist Rick Newman examines the rise and fall—and rise again—of some of our most prolific and productive figures in order to demystify the anatomy of resilience. He identifies nine key traits found in people who bounce back that can transform a setback into the first step toward great accomplishment. Newman turns many well-worn axioms on their head as he shows how virtually anybody can improve their resilience and get better at turning adversity into personal and professional achievement.
• Setbacks can be a secret weapon: They often teach vital things you’ll never learn in school, on the job, or from others.
• There are smart ways to fail: Once familiar with them, you’ll be more comfortable taking risks and less discouraged if they don’t pan out.
• “Defensive pessimism” trumps optimism: Planning for what could go wrong is often the best way to ensure that it doesn’t.
• Know when to quit: Walking away at the right time can free the resources you need to exploit better opportunities.
• “Own the suck”: When faced with true hardship, taking command of the pain and sorrow—rather than letting it command you—lays the groundwork for ultimately rising above it.
Each lesson is highlighted by candid and inspiring stories from notable people, including musician Lucinda Williams, tennis champ James Blake, inventor Thomas Edison, army veteran and double-amputee Tammy Duckworth, and Joe Torre, former manager of the New York Yankees.
In this uncertain and unstable time, Rebounders lays out the new rules for success and equips you with the tools you need to get ahead and thrive.
move now considered one of the biggest gaffes in corporate history. “The whole process made me a professional skeptic,” Keough said twenty-four years later. “I learned to look beyond data and apply common sense, ask questions beyond the first question.” I also interviewed broadcaster Tavis Smiley, who had always wanted to be a politician and got started in broadcasting only after failing to get elected to the Los Angeles City Council. “I ran, I lost, I was devastated,” Smiley told me. To keep
promising young players spent some obligatory time on their way up, and fading old-timers not ready to retire continued to earn a few bucks on their way down. It was a humbling comedown for Blake. Compared to the immaculate courts and glamorous settings of the tour-level tournaments, Challenger events were more like a county fair. The ball boys stood out of position and made mistakes that would get them banished from one of the major tournaments. There were no big sponsors, and the players
sheets of plywood that would form the roof’s base layer. While his hands were full of plywood sheets, he felt something on his boots, and looked down to discover Corky and Dana, two of the more experienced carpenters, nailing the protruding soles of his boots to the joists. Then they double-knotted his laces as tightly as they could, so he wouldn’t be able to get the boots off while trying to keep his balance on the slanting, exposed beams. They were nailing him to the roof. Corky and Dana
reading the novels of James Fenimore Cooper as a kid, and being fascinated with the Natty Bumpo character, best known by his nickname Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans. “These people back then,” Ratzenberger said, “they would pack their powder and their musket and just go off into the woods, without knowing where they were going or how to get back or what they would come up against. I felt the same way on the journey through New England, fixing broken things, then going to Europe for ten years.
who became a major leaguer with the Milwaukee Braves in 1956, when Torre was fifteen. Frank looked out for his kid brother, paying for him to go to prep school. Torre joined a local sandlot team, the Brooklyn Cadets, which helped him build enough confidence to join his high school team, where he played first and third bases and pitched occasionally. He was often the heaviest player on the field, but he worked hard to get better. One summer, when another brother, Rocco, arranged for free access to