It's Not Always Plain Sailing

Posted on 6 July, 2022 at 4:15




I once had a fascinating conversation with a friend who was involved with a shipping company. He told me that when ships are making their way across vast oceans, they don’t sail straight on their courses. Due to tides, winds, currents, avoiding other craft, and numerous other reasons, they spend over 50% of their time getting back on course. 


50% of their time getting back on course.  


In shipping, this amount of adjustment isn’t a problem; it is what is expected and allowed for. The essential thing is to keep focussed on the bearing of the destination and keep constantly monitoring and correcting. (In the English Channel alone, a large vessel will have up to three radars tracking others to avoid collisions.)


In life, we go forward in our plans with enthusiasm. Then we hit a problem, something unexpected comes up, and we get knocked off course. At best, we can get a bit down in the dumps; at worse, we can see it as the end of the road.    


Our despondency could be caused by not having created a strong enough vision of where we want to go. Without that clear picture of our destination, we can be in danger of drifting, being buffeted by whatever tides come along. This makes us feel out of control of our own destiny and in danger of losing our motivation.


We could also fall into the mindset that because things aren’t going as we planned, it and/or we have gone wrong, and we beat ourselves up for making such a hash of things. But we really don’t need to do this. At the outset, accept that however much you try, things won’t go according to plan and you will need to make adjustments. Do a risk assessment - think of what could go wrong and how could you deal with it, so you have some preparation in place.


When you go off track - and oh yes, believe me, you will - keep focussed on your destination, think of all those ships and bring yourself back on course. Remember, it isn’t the end of the voyage, just one of the standard 50% of adjustments.

Categories: Motivation, Productivity, Attitude