Vulnerability, resilience, and ADAPTATION are essentially complex and interrelated concepts in research communities such as natural hazards, environmental changes, medical, engineering, management, social science, economics, etc. However, since these concepts encompass a broad range of topics, it should be no surprise that their definitions are very diverse and their interrelationships are still unclear. To remove the gap between different definitions and conceptual relevance of vulnerability, resilience, ADAPTATION, and resistive economy, and to avoid confronting paradoxes such as Singapore paradox, wrong categorizing and policymaking, a brief overview of the main definitions and evolutionary processes of these concepts is performed. Also based on the “ Shock-Damage-Recovery-Learning” cycle, a conceptual framework is introduced to present the relationships between them. In order to summarize the analytical framework of vulnerability, resilience, and adaption as well as the resistive economy as a corresponding concept of resilience, this study shows that a sustainable development strategy not only should seek to reduce the vulnerability of an economic system but also it should increase its resilience and adaptive capacity to cope with shocks, uncertainties, and potential future risks.