“As we sail through life, don’t avoid rough waters, sail on because calm waters won’t make a skillful sailor.” (Unknown)
I have this quote tucked away in a notebook that I regularly use—being the geek that I am, it’s in OneNote (a favorite app), but I digress… As someone who grew up sailing on the waters of North Carolina, it has always struck home for me. As a kid, I particularly enjoyed stormy weather sailing because it was exciting and a little on the edge. My dad would be calm throughout, barking out instructions, adjusting the sails, battening things down and the like. Our sailboat would break over large waves, heel strongly to one side or the other, and everything would be rattling or shaking in the wind or under the strain of the forces being put on the boat. For some, it could be downright scary. My dad and I secretly enjoyed it (Mom, not so much). Fortunately, we were able to ride out the storms, albeit a little more bruised or battered at the end. Afterwards, we (Dad mostly) would make some adjustment or change to our boat, our tactics or approach—learning from the “scary” moments.

Many would simply stay at port and not venture out when there was a threat of bad weather rather than venture out in potentially rough waters. But where is the fun or challenge in that? COVID-19 has brought everyone rough waters, but I’m optimistic that, like sailing, it will make us all better people, at home and in business.

During the upcoming Thanksgiving season, I’m thankful more than ever for the opportunity to learn and improve. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

First published in our November 2020 IT Radix Resource newsletter