At the core of Stolz's belief and science is the idea that “exceptional human achievement must have something to do with how a person responds to adversity.” I believe Stolz is on to something, as do his clients who make up some of the biggest corporations in America.
Stolz developed a robust instrument called the Adversity Quotient Profile as a means of assessing resilience in people. He gained wide-spread acclaim when he published his research in a best-selling book called Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities.
Stolz created three categories of people in life: climbers, campers and quitters. He says “climbers” are people who are dedicated to a lifelong ascent, “campers” get the job done but don’t strive as hard or sacrifice as much as they once did, and “quitters” are persons who at some point became overwhelmed by the challenge and gave up their basic human drive to ascend.
Are you a climber, camper or quitter?
Martin Luther King, Jr. was no doubt a climber with a high Adversity Quotient. The life he lived and the death he died is all the proof you need. But he also once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
The apostle Paul was a climber, too. How do I know? He wrote a letter to the Philippians from a Roman prison cell and mentioned the word “rejoice” thirteen times in four, brief chapters. Yes, rejoice! Knowing the adversity Paul was facing as he penned this joy-filled New Testament book, I have no doubt in my mind that he was dedicated to a lifelong and Godward ascent.