“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how the man would marvel and adore.“ - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Trial and suffering expose one’s character for who they really are: Many people say that trials and suffering build character. It does not build character as much as it exposes one's character for who they really are. That is why if a person can change their victim mentality to one of a survivor's mentality, or even thriver’s mindset, then and ONLY then can the strength be strengthened, ambition be inspired, and success achieved. People have different characters (perception + personality). Some are more resilient, they face the difficulty, and stand again, with survival's mentality; others live with a victim mentality. They are unable to accept it mentally, though would still survive. Few might face difficulties, bounce back with resilience and transform it into a rock solid character.
Adversity Quotient is rooted in three sciences: cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, and psychoneuroimmunology (Stolz): According to Stolz (1997), people need the C.O.R.E. dimensions of Adversity Quotient (AQ). Those dimensions include Control, Ownership, Reach, and Endurance. The understanding and character development is tested during periods of difficulty. The person then shows how strong his/her character, and the cognitive understanding of circumstances. Through both intellectual cognition and refinement from direct or indirect life experience, he or she could fully master the aspect of growing consciousness. The strength of character is a virtue. Such people would stand by their principles, are focused and live with an attitude.
Climbers, Campers, or Quitters/losers: Stolz further asserted how he puts people into three different categories: Climbers, Campers, or Quitters/losers. Climbers find a way of getting through their 'adversity' no matter what it takes, and in the process lead others through their minuscule challenges in comparison. Those type of people makes up roughly 10% of the population. Campers are ordinary folks that face their adversity complaining about their situation but find a way just good enough to get through it without helping anyone along the way. Those type of people makes up roughly 70%. Then lastly are the Quitters quit at the first sight of any challenge or adverse situation, and they make up roughly 20% of the population.
Life is a learning experience and an adventurous journey. As saying goes: Anything you resist -- persists. This is also mirrored in physics; any action will create an equal and opposing reaction. This is why war does not solve problems long term. But this philosophy also applies to personal attitudes and how we approach life. If you don't resist problems (resistance creates stress), but instead try to understand why the problem is there in the first place, and at a deeper level -- then it can be resolved more easily. There is a deeper purpose underlying what we see in the everyday world. There is also purpose in adversity and we all experience it, for life is about learning, and we all are going to get tested at various times in our lives. Acceptance of the situation allows us to see it from a broader and deeper perspective and empowers us. The character needs to be built. Adversity may test what you are made of -- at that particular moment only. But we improve our character from these experiences and learn to be more resilient. Humans are great at improving their skills. We can learn through our own process, or learn from the examples of others. Once one has formed and 'built' their character through their cognition and experiences, those experiences define who you are.
AQ deals with one's ability to be: Resilient, health, and have tenacity. It brings ownership and determines one's accountability, responsibility, action, and engagement. AQ exposes one's extent to which someone perceives an adversity will “reach into” and affect other aspects of the situation or beyond. This in turn determines burden, stress, energy, and effort; it tends to have a cumulative effect. AQ also provides one with the endurance or the length of time the individual perceives the situation / adversity will last, or endure. Which would determine one's ability to have hope, optimism, and willingness to persevere. It does more accurately reflect of being who you are. If one has the "traits" necessary to be resilient and has the CORE dimensions of AQ than at least you have a fighting chance (if not better) than others.
When we open ourselves up to the full richness of life, we enable curious and unforeseen opportunities in which we might grow. Rather than the narrow alleyway our image of a perfect life drives us down; we are alive and awake to all that there is, and we become whole. Being high on AQ would also mean to develop more empathy as you have passed through a lot of trials. It would also make one more wise, profound and understanding. Acceptance of a situation allows to see it from a broader and deeper perspective. “There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former. The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Evil may at some future period bring forth good; and good may bring forth evil, both equally unexpected.” Joseph Addison