Bret Michaels, Hardy by Nature

"I'm not back 100 percent yet," Michaels told the "Today Show." He admitted that his doctors said it wasn't "a great idea" for him to be back on the show, but he said that his drive and ambition keep him from taking his health problems lying down.

Hard Rock Lessons in Hard Knocks

Though he has never spoken with Michaels, Maddi says that its clear from his public appearances and behavior on his reality shows that the rock star is a prime example of psychological hardiness.

Maddi, who has studied hardiness for decades, says that it is characterized by the belief that life comes with stressful circumstances built in. With this perspective, hardy people often view the hard knocks in life, not only as normal, but as lessons in gratitude and insight.

This is evident from the way Michaels deals with stress on "Apprentice," Maddi says, and the way he handled his return to the show after his stroke.

Michaels also displayed this mindset in a note to his fans he posted to his website soon after the stroke. Instead of bemoaning his condition, he writes: "Events like this certainly put life into perspective."

Handling setbacks with humor and taking comfort in close personal relationships are two other markers of a hardy individual that Michaels clearly displays, Maddi says.

"I laugh about a lot of things," the rock star told "Today." "That's how I defend myself."

Hardy or Just Medically Foolhardy?

Considering the extensive health concerns facing the "Rock of Love" star, this can-do attitude can be both an asset and a hazard, neurologists say.

Is Michaels at risk of pushing himself too hard, too soon?

"Recovery is very individualized," Wright says, so while "it's very ambitious to be back in the thick of things at this point, it's fine as long as it's the result of a conscientious decision between Michaels and his doctors."

Luckily, warning strokes are just that -- an alert to assess the patient. They do not normally cause permanent damage, Wright says, so it's possible that this most recent medical trauma will not be as hard to bounce back from.

And in general, a driven, goal-oriented personality tends to help recovery, Wright says, so Michaels' energy and good attitude -- when not unreasonably overzealous -- can work in his favor.

Michaels' hardiness also makes it more likely that he will do everything necessary to recover, Maddi says, including acknowledging his limits. Returning to daily activity is not necessarily ill-advised, because Michaels will most likely be itching to get back in the game, but also savvy as to what he needs to do to ensure he stays there.

But of course, it's a balancing act.

"Medically speaking, it is a fantastic attitude, both mentally and physically, for him to have, [but] Bret's brain and body are not quite 100 percent yet," said Dr. Joseph Zabramski, Michaels' neurosurgeon, in a statement on Michaels' website.

"I'm a huge Poison fan, so I'm hoping for the best recovery time because I want to see him on tour," Wright says, "but that requires him to take the time he needs to get back to health."

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