02/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Survivor's Club

On January 15, 2009, a US Airways plane with an engine failure crashed into the Hudson River. All 150 people passengers and 5 crew members came out of the plane alive. Later news reports revealed that if it weren't for Chelsey Sullenberg, the pilot who completely kept his cool while maneuvering the plane into the water, this miraculous story could have easily been another senseless tragedy on the news.

The rest of us will probably never have to face a plane crash -- let alone manuever a crashing plane safely into a river. However, chances are that we will be facing other life challenges that demand all our inner resources and perhaps surprise us with strengths we never knew we had. Recently, I spoke with author and Intent Voice Ben Sherwood, who writes extensively about survival in his latest book The Survivor's Club. The title of the book may bring to mind dramatic scenarios of bear maulings and terrorist attacks (both of which are covered in the book), but Ben defines survival in very broad terms that can apply to all of us. Whether it is an illness, foreclosure, or a messy divorce, there are many difficult life challenges that all of us and our loved ones will one day have to face. Most importantly, Ben explores the question of how some people manage to survive life-threatening ordeals better than others, and what important lessons we can derive from these extraordinary people.

Ben's intent is "to survive and thrive." More important than surviving the actual incident is the amazing inner growth that occurs afterwards -- and this is a theme that is echoed throughout The Survivor's Club. I hope Ben's words inspire many of you to recognize your own unique survivor qualities, and your own hidden strengths that will help you overcome whatever life challenges that come to your way.

Listen to Mallika's conversation with Ben Sherwood

Mallika Chopra blogs regularly at

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