What prompts us to strive and move forward, to learn and better ourselves? It's not the successes we have. It's not the easy times nor the times where we're comfortable and satisfied. Those times, pleasant as they are, teach us one thing - to keep doing what it is that we're already doing and to keep the status quo. Utopia never changes and why should it? If you have a comfortable existence with all that you need, why should you risk upsetting the apple cart?
So it's not the good times, the comfortable times, the happy times, that give us the drive to move forward and effect the big changes in our lives. Instead it's the times when we're hungry, unsatisfied, perhaps lost and frightened and uncomfortable. Those are the times when we fear that we strive so hard to change things. These storms in life are the raw energy that powers us through the discomfort and fear of change.
Sure, in a sailboat, we could find the pleasant weather, the gentle winds, the easy swell of the ocean and we'd get to where we want to go, eventually. But in a racing boat you want that power where the winds are snarling through the rigging, the waves punching the sides, where the sails are reefed; the salt from the spray drenching you is in your eyes and making it difficult to see. That's when the boat will be going like the kracken has been loosed and is sighted off the stern in hot pursuit. It's when you are working right at the limits of what mind and muscle can wring out of cloth and wood and steel and fibreglass and wind and wave. It's when everything is right on the verge of breaking and it can't take even a little more... that's when you make the most progress forward.
I am not saying that you should put yourself into situations where you can't handle it, nor is it good for a person to live every moment of their life like that. Things break under that much strain. Even a racing sailboat pulls into port for repair and restock, the crew taking a bit of time off to rest and recuperate.
And then it's off to race the next storm.