Last week I was sailing the Spanish Virgin Islands with my friends on their new cat, and it occurred to me how much sailing has affected my way of dealing with people and life’s unexpected situations. Here are some ways I feel sailing has benefitted me in everyday life…
Be prepared for anything that comes your way. A good sailor is always prepared for the unexpected. A sudden squall or man overboard requires quick thinking and quick action. So to this comes up in life. When we lose a loved one or get into an accident, we search our inner strength to get through situations with grace and resolve.
Have a planned route. When sailing navigation is key. Researching charts and maps to plan the best route is key to a successful cruise. After all, we are desperate to never run aground or into a shipping channel.
We must also have a map of where we are going in life, what we are trying to accomplish, what our goal and tactics to reach that goal are going to be or we will be at the mercy of each distraction that we discover in our research.
Using sails. Our sails are our lifeblood. Although we do have an engine, no good sailor will want to use it if not Necessary. So we watch the wind, create routes that have more wind, and continually seek windier conditions.
In life, our talents and abilities are the sails. We must learn all we can about each ‘sail’ we might have to use to achieve our goals.
Making it through rough seas. It’s inevitable that we will run into rough seas while sailing. It is the wind that creates rough seas, so it makes sense that while searching for strong winds, rough seas will follow. But it’s how we get through these seas that really matters.
We need to be similarly skillful and caring as we encounter the rough seas of life. We have all experienced a rough patch, and in hindsight always wish we did something different. But in the end, it is the way we handled the experience that counts.