I’ve been asked at times, “What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were beginning your career?”

My short answer: “This too shall pass.”

Here’s what I mean by that. When you are young, setbacks can seem big and daunting. You can easily imagine that the setback will be fatal. You find it difficult to believe there will be better days again. Getting discouraged is easy. You might abandon a good course. You might allow the setback to become the thing that defines you. I’ve learned that isn’t the case.

The path to success isn’t a straight line up for most people. There are almost always a few zigs and zags.

A friend and I were talking about the valleys we experience in life between the hilltop or mountaintop experiences. The valleys are times in the low country where lessons are learned and character is formed.

Valleys can be lush and beautiful. They can be a place to rest. Recover. Regroup. The valleys can refresh you so you can begin the climb and go again.

So, my experience has been to learn that setbacks aren’t permanent. They want to persist. And they aren’t just directed at me.

If I keep my head up, keep a good team around me, and don’t stop too long to lick my wounds, better days will be ahead.