As a youngster, I always thought Rose Colan, my beloved mother, originated the phrase, “This too shall pass.” She used it frequently to help me keep perspective during challenging times.

Since then, I have learned that this saying appears in the works of Persian poets and in Jewish folklore from King Solomon … quite a few years before I heard my mom say it. The context is from a fable of a powerful king who asks wise men to create a ring that will make him happy when he is sad, and vice versa. After deliberation, the sages handed him a simple ring with the words “This too will pass” etched on it, which had the desired effect.

When you are on top of the world, enjoy it and know that things change. Remember, this too shall pass. When you are in the pits, all nights are followed by day; at your lowest moments remember also, this too shall pass. External circumstances and material things change.

I tell our clients, “No trend goes on forever” (my clumsy version of this ancient saying). Although leading a high-performing team certainly has an important emotional component, inspiring leaders keep an even-keeled perspective. This balanced perspective prevents complacency in good times and despair in bad times. It also keeps us humble and hopeful, appreciating how circumstances can quickly change. Taking these words to heart will keep your team’s edge sharp and their performance peaked.

So, no matter what your circumstances, remember, THIS TOO SHALL PASS!


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