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Staying Afloat or Sailing to Your Next Port

You could make a lot of analogies about how life is like sailing a ship. And today, allow me to make some comparisons about how we need to take care of our ship (stay afloat) and also move toward our intended destination.

Taking care of your ship is critical to your mission. Without your ship in good condition, you won’t be able to weather the storms, and you’ll be unable to make safe and steady progress to your objectives.

But some people seem to get stuck in maintenance—fixing problems, making things look and work better. That’s good, but if that’s ALL you do, then you won’t be able to get to your next port of call. You’ll be stuck in home port getting ready to go.

It’s a balancing game for sure. And lots of things can keep us caught up in the staying afloat mode. Fear of the unknown, perfectionism, being too busy, not being clear on which port or why you want to go can easily keep you motionless.

You will never have a perfect ship. You can always make it better, safer and more attractive. But ships are made for sailing. They rust in port.

Fix leaks? You bet. Test the equipment? Sure. Take on reserve supplies of food, fuel and water? Good idea.

But at some point you have to set sail. You can’t only do maintenance and make improvements. And you have to continue making forward progress and all the while work at staying afloat.

There are risks upon the sea. There always will be. And challenges can be painful even though they make us better and stronger. But the pain of regret is greater than the pain of discipline.

You may not have the safest ship in the world. It may be smaller or it may not look as good as others. But if you wait for the perfect vessel, the ideal winds or the optimum tide, you may never get under way.

Your dreams lie in distant ports. Cast off, weigh anchor and set sail.

And continue to maintain and improve your ship as you go. Train your crew, maintain the boat, improve your skills and enjoy the adventure as you steadily make progress to your next destination.

Look at your goals, your projects and your task list. Are you just working at staying afloat or are you also making good forward progress?

Make it a great one.

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  1. April 21st, 2011 at 15:23 | #1


    I enjoyed reading your post, Michael! I believe I’m making a forward progress and do my best at keeping it up. At times it gets difficult but I get back into focus.

    Thanks to sharing, have a great day!

    Kind Regards

  2. April 21st, 2011 at 17:22 | #2

    Great analogy!

  3. Judy Alcantara
    April 21st, 2011 at 17:54 | #3

    Hi Michael,

    I really love the way you carry through your powerful analogy of staying afloat and moving towards your destination. It is expertly executed and is not just excellent advice but a sound literary piece as well.
    Have a safe and blessed Easter.

  4. May 13th, 2011 at 11:54 | #4

    I thought I had replied to this before, Judy. But I guess not.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated.