How Hardship Builds Your Value Proposition

How can you grow and even flourish through circumstances that require you to reconstruct your identity, life vision, and mission?

Dave Sanderson offers a compelling example. He’s one of the 155 survivors of the widely publicized January 2009 “Miracle on The Hudson,” during which acclaimed pilot Chesley Sullenberger glided US Airways Flight 1549 to ditch into the Hudson River after bird strikes disabled the plane’s engines. Remarkably, all of the passengers and crew members survived in what has been hailed as the most successful emergency landing in aviation history.

Dave, formerly a sales executive and the Security Director for empowerment superstar Tony Robbins, risked his life to help evacuate the plane, building a new career as a professional speaker to share what he’s learned about thriving after a crisis.

Dave mentors former military veterans, firefighters, police officers, and others who went from trauma to depression, bankruptcy, and substance abuse. In guiding them to translate life-threatening moments into their mission statements, he poses a two-part question to redirect their downward spiral, upward:

“How can you add even more value [as a result of your experiences], AND enjoy the process?”

Reflecting on how you can “enjoy the process” puts you on the receiving end of giving by ensuring that the fruits of your life-affirming contributions circle back to nourish you as well. All to often, we may seek reciprocity—with a closed door. I’ve heard some say that’s called “blocking your blessings.”

One of Dave’s messages is that hardship can become a muscle for peak performance. Beyond this, chronicling newly acquired successes, along with those you’ve already “built in,” creates a winning portfolio that identifies the growth you’re able to prompt in others.

While you already know this, when did you last update your value proposition to account for the recent hardships that are preparing you to step up even higher?

I invite you to listen to my conversation with Dave!

Here’s to the unattained pursuits that make you greater through your willingness to both follow and redefine your vision.