Home » Nonfiction » David B. Feldman » Supersurvivors

November 29 , 2009


The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success


The key to how ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things after traumatic upheaval

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Many people suffer trauma in their lifetime. While some experience serious psychological consequences, like post-traumatic stress disorder and other afflictions, many are able to move on and overcome trauma's effects. Then there are those rare individuals who, in the aftermath of great tragedy and turmoil, reassess their priorities, redirect their focus, and accomplish extraordinary feats—they break records, win awards, and meet the seemingly unattainable goals they set for themselves.

These are the supersurvivors.

A leukemia sufferer who won an Olympic gold medal, a blind man who rowed across the Atlantic, a woman who survived genocide in Rwanda and went on to become a President Obama appointee: these are among the extraordinary men and women who moved beyond mere resilience. They radically deviated on their life path, transforming the worst thing to happen to them into their best success.

Renowned psychology researchers David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz interviewed dozens of men and women to understand how these individuals pushed beyond their experiences to attain greatness. We discover why certain delusions can be healthy, why forgiveness is good for the body, and why reflecting on death can lead to a better life. And, perhaps counterintuitively, we learn how positive thinking is not always a strategy toward the good. Feldman and Kravetz weave the narratives of these supersurvivors with the latest scientific findings and clinical experience to elucidate how we can learn from their inspiring stories, offering hope that tragedy does not have to cause us to shrink from a full and adventurous life. Supersurvivors is sure to reset our thinking about how we deal with all our challenges, no matter who we are or what we have endured.

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