I was nine years old when I had the opportunity of a lifetime: I was going water skiing for the first time with some affluent friends. I remember the nerves I felt as I put on my life jacket, jumped into the lake, grabbed the ski rope, and listened for instructions. My friend’s dad gave me two simple rules:

  1. Point your skis up and give me the thumbs up when you’re ready to start.
  2. Don’t let go of the rope.

I got into position, gave him the thumbs up, and the boat took off. It felt like I was on a rocket ship as the pull of the boat yanked me into the air. Immediately, the skis flew off, but I was determined not to fail rule #2.

It seemed like an eternity went by as I was dragged through the lake, probably swallowing half the water before the boat came to a standstill and they circled back around for me. They asked why I didn’t let go, and my answer was simple: I was told not to let go of the rope.

Life works the same way. There are difficult times when we often get knocked off our skis and swallow the proverbial lake water in our careers and lives. Those who win aren’t always the best; often, victory comes down to who can hold on the longest.

Focus this week on strengthening your mental grip. Believe that if you can just persevere past the waves, you’ll make it to the shores of your destination.

You have what it takes. Don’t let go of the rope.

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