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Answer by Hillary Clinton on Quora.

Resilience.

My mother had a painful childhood. Her parents abandoned her and sent her off to live with relatives who didn’t want her. She was on her own by 14, working as a housekeeper. Growing up, I didn’t know any of that—I just knew she was a great mom who worked hard to give my brothers and me opportunities she never had.

She taught me that life isn’t about what happens to you, it’s about what you do with what happens to you. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you have to get back up and keep fighting for what you believe.

Oh, and one more thing: If you haven’t seen my friend Sheryl Sandberg’s fantastic speech on this subject, you’re truly missing out.

This question originally appeared on Quora: What is the most important personality trait that a person can have?

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