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Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

You cannot bounce back from hardship. You can only move through it.


There is a path through pain to wisdom, through suffering to strength, and through fear to courage if we have the virtue of resilience.

In 2012, Eric Greitens unexpectedly heard from a former SEAL comrade, a brother-in-arms he hadn’t seen in a decade. Zach Walker had been one of the toughest of the tough. But ever since he returned home from war to his young family in a small logging town, he’d been struggling. Without a sense of purpose, plagued by PTSD, and masking his pain with heavy drinking, he needed help. The two friends started writing and talking nearly every day. From this, Eric began to write down his thoughts on what it takes to build resilience in our lives.

Eric's letters drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Resilience explains how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Eric's lessons are deep yet practical, and his advice leads to clear solutions.

We all face pain, difficulty, and doubt. But we also have the tools to take control of our lives. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us.

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“I love this book. It is tough, smart and compassionate. I know no one else who could have written a book like this. Eric Greitens has the real-life experience, the courage and the heart to give all of us the kind of advice that can be life changing. I will read, re-read, and send it to everyone I know. You should too!”

Martha Raddatz, ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent

“Eric Greitens provides a brilliant and brave course of action to help navigate life’s roughest waters. Resilience is filled with solutions, passion and compassion. Every veteran of every war should read this invaluable book. So should their families. So should every American.”

Admiral Mike Mullen, Seventeenth chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff

“What I have loved and admired most about Eric Greitens is that he sees the potential in all of us, and compels us to reach it. In Resilience, Greitens draws upon wisdom that is both ancient and powerfully relevant. Read it to win your own battles, and see why Eric Greitens is one of the great Americans of our time.”

J. J. Abrams, Producer/Director/Writer



Courage overcomes, but does not replace, fear. Joy overcomes, but does not replace, pain.
When we’re struggling, we don’t need a book in our hands. We need the right words in our minds. When things are tough, a mantra does more good than a manifesto.
Practice builds habits. Our habits are our character. When it comes to virtue, practice 'makes a very great difference—or rather, all the difference.'

About the author

Eric Greitens was born and raised in Missouri. A Navy SEAL, Rhodes Scholar, boxing champion, and humanitarian leader, Eric earned his Ph.D. from Oxford University. He did research and documentary photography work with children and families in Rwanda, Albania, Mexico, India, Croatia, Bolivia, and Cambodia.

The founder of The Mission Continues and the author of the New York Times best-seller The Heart and the Fist, Eric was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people. Fortune magazine named him one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.

Eric lives in Missouri with his wife, Sheena and son, Joshua.


“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.”

Publishers Weekly

“Moving and candid . . . What distinguishes this most unusual book is the extent to which it draws on what it’s not too much to call the wisdom of the ages… Eric Greitens successfully reminds us of a larger lesson.”


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