Leading Ideas: The Value of Rough Seas

“A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.” — English Proverb

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a man who, despite a severe speech impediment, had become the top salesman at his company. It was such an unlikely story that I asked him how he’d done it. He joked, “with a lot of bruises and scars.” He went on to say, “Not surprisingly, the road was terribly tough for me. I was awful in the beginning — and it lit a fire under me. It made me work harder than everyone else. I resented it then, but I’ve come to realize it was a blessing in disguise.”


Consider this:

In life, it’s the rough patches that build your strength and character. They test you. They make you dig deeper, think harder, and risk more. Use them to your advantage. Don’t play the victim. Get up and get creative. It’s what you do when the going gets tough that defines you.

Try this:

When you hit a rough patch:
1. Don’t wish the ride was smoother – it’s not supposed to be.
2. Use the challenge to get smarter.
3. Tackle one thing at a time – don’t overwhelm yourself.
4. Keep smiling throughout.

Question: How have you used rough seas to your advantage?