Having a road map is a comfort to me. I think we all like when our goals are fulfilled. Funny how, in hind sight, what we may have expected and what is, may be miles apart. Taking a step back we find reality may be just what we intended.
I should preface the last statement with the words of Garth Brooks when he sang, Unanswered Prayers. “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unaswered prayers.” Reality is a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes the medicine in new directions makes us stronger and healthier.
Still, without some sort of target, we could be just robots running through the motions, or mice running through a maze looking for the cheese with no idea how to scale the wall.
The last couple weeks have been like that for the crew of Fawkes. Our goal, get south to the leeward and windward islands. There are definite routes to accomplish our goal and we have gathered the best advice from some of the top experts in the field of sailing. Yet, despite the intelligence on this vessel, we of course assume our route will be perfect. One stop after another will be ideal and our progress will be unhampered.
Ha! The reality is foreign governments change rules for how long vessels can stay in their waters. Weather windows change. Sea states are impossibly high and the wind always blows on the nose.
We have made progress to our ultimate destination. Frustrations are inevitable in our lifestyle, but I’m sure you can relate to the same feelings. The journey to realizing a goal is fraught with feelings.
1) Anger at obstacles out of our control. i.e. unreturned phone calls, resources not available, time ticking by too quickly.
2) Sadness or feelings of despair when progression is halted. This is where self doubt comes into play. Were we really worthy of the goal in the first place? How are we supposed to move forward now?
3) Indecision. This is a vital point as we can make many mistakes here. We can react with our negative emotions to the detriment of the goal as a whole. This is the spot where we need to step back and allow logic to sink back into our actions.
The reality is we have to learn to deal with all set-backs on the road to accomplishing anything in our lives. On Fawkes we are no exception to all the feelings of frustrations, anger, sadness and indecision. But, because of our lifestyle indecision and spontaneous reaction can be deadly, we’re working on ways to cope. Coping is key. Here are my suggestions to try on the journey of winning over the obstacles in our way.
1) Take the Mandatory Down Day I spoke of in October. This gives you an opportunity to give the negative feelings a chance to run their course as well as giving your mind a break. For you, it doesn’t have to be a whole day, but a walk in the park, an hour to do something completely different. Take a nap and let your mind and spirit find a new path to the same goal.
2) Review what the obstacle is trying to tell you. Have you missed a vital step on the path that needs addressed before you move on? Was the goal well defined enough? What lessons do you still need to learn in order to accomplish this goal? And, most importantly, is your stated goal what you need to be working toward, or is it masking another more important goal?
3) When you can think more logically, take a moment to re-group and set off on the path again. This time however, it may be a different fork to the same ultimate end. You’d be surprised just how invigorating this decision might be and wonder what all the fuss was about anyway.
For the crew of Fawkes, when we’ve run our gamut of emotions we usually find a paradise we almost mist along the way. Winds will blow in our favor again, seas will lay down and a life of exploration will unfold for us.
Do you need to take a break on your journey? Do you have a system to attack the road blocks in your life? How do you cope? Share your strategies and we’ll all find our journey to success a bit more enjoyable.