Have you ever really looked at yourself in the mirror and thought “Man, I really thought I’d be much further ahead in life than this?” or “Isn’t there something more to life than this… is this it?”
It’s quite possible you’re not guiding your life in the direction YOU want… you’re NOT steering your ship!
You know, there are several ways to steer a boat & they can be steered by almost anyone, not JUST you…but they are best steered by someone who knows that particular boat best, how it operates (whether that’s you or not) and that knows EXACTLY where they are going.
When you let someone unqualified (basically anybody but yourself) guide your ship, there’s no guaranty you’ll end up where you want to be.
So… who’s steering your ship?
Join us this week, as we recognize that most of us are NOT in control of the direction of our lives, but learn how to take the wheel of our SHIP, and control our ultimate destinations with 4 simple steps!
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Episode #58 – Time to steer your own ship!
While I’m not an expert on boats, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like them… they are cool to travel on, and can take you pIaces that can only be reached by water or by boat.
And… I do know a few basics, like they come in many shapes and sizes, they can transport you any amount of distance you need to cover... from one end of a little lake to the other, or all the way around the world, across several oceans… I also know that there are several ways to steer a boat, from oars to swinging an outboard motor left to right, turning the wheel or adjusting power to different engines on a ship, or as simple as adjusting the sails on a sailboat, and they can be steered by almost anyone, not JUST you…but they are best steered by someone who knows that particular boat best, how it operates (whether that’s you or not) and that knows EXACTLY where they are going.
Here's a simple little scenario that may help clarify what I’m trying to say…
Let’s say you live in Miami, Florida and one day you decide to take your significant other on a little day trip to, oh... I don’t know… maybe the Bahamas… more specifically Nassau in the Bahamas.
So, in preparation (because you have no idea how long this trip may take, you Google how long of a boat ride it might be), you discover it’s about 75 nautical miles and will take about 2-3 hours by speed boat, about 10 hours by yacht (but that’s not in your price range anyway) and decide to hire a speedboat to take you there. Great!... should be a fun day, right?
Your party heads down to marina to hire a boat, and upon arriving you have two boats & captains to choose from, so you decide to interview both.
You ask the first captain if he knows how to get to Nassau, what direction he will go, how long it will take and if the weather is good for the trip.
He puts down some dingy-looking flask & says he’s “pretty sure” he can get there; I don’t think it’s that far?... he points in a direction and swings his arm back & forth 25 degrees and says it’s basically that direction, should only take 3 or 4 hours, maybe longer, not sure and the suns out, not windy, light chop, doesn’t “look like” the weather will be an issue, should be good enough for the trip... you ready to jump on that boat right now??
You talk to the 2nd boats captain, he tells you he knows that route well, they’ll head South East for 2.5 hours and then due East for 30-45 mins, travelling at 21 knots (I don’t really know, just making this part up), I just checked the weather report, looks good for the whole day, no inclement weather expected for next couple days, he’s positive he can have your party there safely before lunch!
So, which boat you getting on?
At this point, price becomes irrelevant too, doesn’t it?
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting the 2nd boat, he knows exactly what he’s doing and how to get me where I want to go.
That 1st boat might be the last boat ride I ever take!... I mean there’s a Bermuda Triangle thing out there somewhere, right?
Anyways, the point of this silly make-believe story is, when you let someone unqualified (basically anybody but yourself) guide your ship, there’s no guaranty you’ll end up where you want to be.
So, from my perspective... boats are very similar to, and a great metaphor for, your life.
Hopefully this silly little analogy makes sense to you.
People are cool (for the most part), come in various shapes and sizes, and can be steered several different ways, and can be steered by just about anybody… not just you, but they are BEST steered by someone that knows EXACTLY where they want to go…. And that SHOULD be only YOU!
You see, the majority of people today aren’t really guiding their own ships, at best, they may have their life pointed in a general direction and have set the cruise control… never thinking about where they’re heading until they run aground or hit the reef… but many aren’t even doing that, they are letting someone else guide their lives or steer their ship (and there is always an endless supply of people just waiting for that opportunity).
It could be a spouse or significant other telling you you’re not smart enough to start your own business, or a boyfriend or girlfriend that doesn’t have confidence in your decisions yet and will pull away if you make that move… or your parents or in-laws that want you to play it safe, maybe follow the family business and forget your dreams… it could be the people you work for or work with, convincing you to quit asking about advancement or suggesting a new direction or product or service your company should consider.. no, no, no… just keep your head down and work a little harder… maybe it’s the news media, scaring you into believing it’s not the right time yet, or it’s too late, you’re just better off staying home & tuned-in to CNN or MSNBC or FOX or whoever, so THEY can tell you what to do next… or is it Social Media, showing you some twisted version of what “normal” looks like, potentially tying you to some false “Instagram” or “Facebook” persona that prevents you from breaking out & being who you truly are… or it’s the political parties (doesn’t matter which side you’re on, both are crazy!) warning you on what the “other side” will do to stifle your goals & ambitions, so don’t even try… not to mention, there are just countless others that can’t even steer their OWN ships, but are more than happy to steer yours!
Now there are definitely some people that are 100% in charge of their lives, having a clear vision of the next levels in life they are working towards, making the moves and taking the action required to achieve their ultimate dreams and big-ass goals, passing on advice from others that don’t align with the visions or plans they hold in their hearts and in their minds… they REFUSE to let anyone steer their ships!
Maybe that’s you, if it is, congratulations!... we salute you!!... you are a shining example of how we were meant to be.
Unfortunately, you are a small minority of the world’s population, but an inspiration to all of us.
Some of you are very successful business men & women, with thriving shops, tremendous wealth and all that goes with it, but still may have someone influencing the direction of your ship… and that’s OK, it may make perfect sense for your exact situation and lifestyle.
The past 18 months or so, with all the massive shifts in our world we have experienced during this time, has allowed many that were stuck in the rut of an un-charted life, floating lost at sea, to really take a long-hard look at their lives & make the decision to finally “take the wheel” and start steering in the direction of the life that they truly desire… quitting the unsatisfying job, ending the bad relationship, start losing the weight, launch the new business or career… making a fresh start.
Have you heard of the phenomenon called “The Great Resignation”??
I mean think about this for a minute… have you ever really looked at yourself in the mirror and thought “Man, I really thought I’d be much further ahead in life than this?” or “Isn’t there something more to life than this… is this it?”
It can be a sobering question, right?
Well, if you ever had these thoughts and it motivated you to do something about it, your next question was probably “OK, so how do I take control of MY SHIP?”
Great question…. So glad you asked!
It’s not very difficult or complicated, but I will tell you, it takes commitment!
I want to share with you a few tips to get you going in the right direction (see that, I’m steering your ship, aren’t I?... don’t worry, it’s only to get you started!)
1. Realize and except the fact that you are not in control of the direction of your life, that you are not actively steering your ship
*BONUS TIP- determine (if possible) who IS primarily steering your ship (quite possible there may be more than one person)
2. Decide on, and I mean really see this, crystal-clear… feel it in your soul and document… where you are meant to go (think at the 30,000 ft level, big picture).
Take your time with this part of the process, find some time that is uninterrupted.
For me, my best ‘thinking” or “strategizing” times are when I take my nightly walks alone, maybe it’s staring at the ocean or a lake, hiking in the woods, or sitting in your car parked near a park (I do find being IN nature has a stronger effect on my focus), but find whatever activity or environment works for you, to allow your mind to focus on your future... on your big-ass goals… on your dreams… and then…
3. Map it out… aim your life according to where you need to go, steer your own ship.
4. Take action… action is the only thing that separates good thoughts and goals from actual achievement of those goals. Sometimes… hell, lots of times, it will be uncomfortable… but we were not designed to live 100% of our lives in comfort zones… all growth and progress lives outside of our comfort zones.
I believe we are all put on this earth to do something amazing with our lives, to make an impact, to make a difference, to influence some positive change and advancement of the human existence and we all have access to a world of resources available to help us with that… I don’t think any of us were put here to be “obstacles” for everybody else to work around, right?
But if we continue to let somebody else guide our direction in life, decide FOR US what we should or should not do with our lives, we will never have the opportunity or the experience of truly living our best life, doing it our way!
We are only on this planet for a short period of time, make the most of it while you can… do yourself & the whole world a solid…
Founder & Host of The Mind Wrench Podcast