If you’ve ever spent any time on the water, you already know how soothing it can be to go boating: the sun reflecting on the water, your hair blowing in the breeze, the thrill of being transported ‘away from it all’ on the shore. You can literally feel the sense of calm washing over you as the boat cuts through the water. Each time, all I can think is “It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Turns out I’m not alone with that sentiment.
Lori Lorenz knows it, too, and so did her father, who took boating excursions for months at a time.
Lori is the Marketing Director at Hewlett-Packard. She recently spoke at a conference for bloggers, Social Media on the Sand. She explained that her father sometimes took his daughters along on these boat trips.
He wasn’t risky about it. He knew these trips took planning. And he taught his daughters that navigating your way through life was very much like navigating a boat out at sea. There are some critical lessons involved.
First, you must chart a course.
You need to assess what you have to work with and choose your course. Then, focus on what matters most to get you there.
Assessing takes quiet time. If you don’t have quiet time in your life, make some. It’s important. A few questions to ask yourself include:
What are your values and passions?
What do you love to do?
When you can answer that, you’ll have clarity. Clarity brings courage, and courage brings confidence.
Once you chart the course, you have to stay on course. That means you’ll want to choose the right crew. Who is in the boat with you? That’s pretty important, right? I know it matters a whole bunch to me.
Beware of novices. Ask for help. Another tip: keeping a weather eye. On a boat, that means having an ability to quickly recognize signs of changes in the weather. Changing winds can blow you off course. And also pay attention to the doldrums: that’s a state or period of inactivity, stagnation or depression. That can be as dangerous as the changing winds and rough weather.
A phrase Lorenz shared:
“The pessimist complains about the wind;
the optimist expects it to change;
the realist adjusts the sails.”
Are you adjusting the sails when you needed?
Finally, enjoy the journey. That’s important, too. What’s the point of the trip if you’re not enjoying it?
After all, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Lorenz’ father referred to it as IDGABTT (pronounced id-ga-bit). It reminds me of ‘Life is Good’. He and his friends even had IDGABTT meetings with each other, just to check in and make sure they were all still on course, so to speak.
They sound exactly like the guys I want to have in my boat with me, in rough seas and calm ones.