What sailing taught me about life’s journey

When I was young I went out on a catamaran with a friend who showed me some basics about sailing.

We cruised along with the wind behind us and managed to get up a great deal of momentum. Sailing appeared to be easy and with the wind at our backs there was nothing to stop us.

Sailing proved more of a challenge when the wind changed and was no longer blowing in the direction we wanted to travel. It was a challenge to reach our destination without the help of the wind but by no means impossible. Being with an experienced sailor helped me navigate the waters.

Wind was not all we had to consider. We had to manoeuvre several rock formations, sailing boats, power boats and, as we approached the shore, we even had to dodge swimmers close to the beach.

I believe this is the moment most people give up on their destination; when the wind is not blowing their direction or when there are rocks in their way.  Most people will accept these challenges as reasonable excuses for turning the boat around. Experienced sailors learn an alternate route and they know this is not the end of the journey.

What I found interesting is that even when the wind seemed to hit us head on we didn’t change our intended destination. Throughout the journey we would adjust our sails or change course. At times we would slow down considerably but we never stopped.

I couldn’t help, in my mind, drawing parallels between sailing and setting personal goals. Sometimes obstacles challenge us to change our course or our approach in order to reach our target. If we fail to reach our goals we should change our approach; not our goals.

Learn how to set your personal goals.

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