Calm waters never created a skilled sailor.
This famous quote by the American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, means that when everything is going well, not much skill is needed. Conversely, when things happen that test our skills, it makes us work harder and achieve more.
If I were to ask, which sailor would be considered stronger and more skilled?
1. A sailor who has only sailed ships on smooth, easy waves?
2. Or a sailor who has experienced not only calm weather, but terrible storms and violent waves, and survived it all?
Who do you think people would trust more to sail on the ocean? The sailor with the tough experiences, of course. In the same way, people who are stronger and more able to cope with difficulties are only that way because they first went through hard experiences.
Life has taught them to be resilient, and skilled at overcoming problems. If life were easy all the time, they would never have learned how to deal with issues. That is what the proverb means.
This quote, so simple in nature, is also very deep and profound and I believe it should be kept in everyone’s little book of favourite quotes. When the seas are calm and you are steaming right along, this can represent when everything in your life is going great.
You are getting good grades, you are getting hours at work, you are spending time with family and friends, and life just seems superb. There is not much skill needed for when things are going great.
If you were to flip a coin and get the other side of the scenario. You are out at sea and there is a storm coming, the wind is blowing making big waves, the water is splashing over the boat making it hard to see or move around on the boat. The sky is getting darker making it hard to see the obstacles ahead.
Now comes the rain! Now it’s even harder to see or sense the right direction. Now you have lost your bearings and are being tossed about between the waves. If you are a new sailor you will be forced to learn the skills on hand that are needed to try to overcome the situation, and if you are a seasoned sailor then the skills and experience from past storms will come to help.
We can look at this as a point in our lives where it is not going so well. Something or things are happening in our lives that are testing our skills and making us work harder.
Challenging experiences are the most educational and so, ultimately, beneficial. The same concept applies to a relationship. If you have a relationship where there is never tough times to work through together, there will never be an opportunity to gain strength within the relationship.
Accept the good with the bad because it all happens for a reason, and will teach you something. It is through adversity that our true colours, characters, skills and all; are tested and that is where you need to work even harder to pull thorugh or succeed.
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Until next week Tuesday, bye-bye for now.
Tshepo Ishmael Phetoane