Do you want to live a rich and exciting life, full of joy, growth and endless possibilities? I have yet to meet the person that would answer this question with no. We all strive to create a life to remember and enjoy. Yet, only very few are ready to give what it takes. Or rather, to let go what it takes! You’ve heard it before: Life is a journey. So I want to choose a boat trip as the metaphor of getting my point across.
(1) If you don’t steer, the currants and the wind will. There’s really no such thing as staying in the same place for a long time. Even if you choose to anchor, the weather and the waves will constantly change, so you better be aware of what’s going on around you. Get used to constant change, embrace it and choose your options wisely. It’s the only alternative to being pulled under by it.
(2) Light boats are faster and more flexible than heavy boats – the less stuff you carry the more easily you can react to changes in plan or weather. Have you ever tried slowing down or changing course on a container ship? It takes… forever! And needs significant resources. It’s a different life philosophy, and maybe not a bad one. But not mine. If there’s too much ballast in terms of ‘wrong’ people, things or circumstances holding you back, you have to be ready to throw some of that baggage overboard.
(3) You have to say goodbye a lot! You can remain in one place for a bit, for sure, but when you’re off to the next one, you need to say farewell. That’s not always easy, neither for you not for the people you have met. But if you stay, you should rather get a house. It’s much more comfortable if you decide to stop moving. Just be well aware that the world will not stop moving around you only because you have decided to.
(4) You need to maintain your vessel. It needs to be sharp, well in shape, fueled and taken care of. In our world: Exercise, nutrition and mental health! Rather stay in the harbor for a bit longer if it needs some shaping up, because one thing is for certain: You only have this one boat! Don’t crash it against the rocks or end up in shallow waters. That would be the end of it.
(5) You constantly have to study maps, listen to the weather forecast, learn new skills and seek advice! There’s no such thing as the perfect situation, you will always be subject to the currant, the wind, the waves, other boats, shallow waters and lots of other uncertainties. If you stop learning and being aware of your surroundings, you might sink!
(6) Most of the fun is the experience itself, not the destination, not the amenities on the boat. It’s the wind in your hair. It’s the feeling in your gut when the boat hits a bigger wave. It’s the thrill to navigate through bad weather. It’s the excitement to encounter new and unexpected landscapes. And falling in love with them. Stop only waiting to hit the next harbor. Instead, enjoy the ride!
There’s many different kind of boats, as there are many kinds of people. Some sail with the wind. Some like their motor power. Some enjoy the back seat of a large ferry with a predetermined destination. And some are fine with stand-up paddleboarding.
No matter your style, just make sure you choose the right vessel – and maintain it well!