I met an older sailor during my time completing my own USCG Captains license, that said something I hope will be helpful in sharing.
He was as salty as they came, with weather beaten skin, scraggly beard, and pony tail. A quiet sort, he shared openly when asked, how he had traveled and lived in various exotic locations while living aboard his restored 1910 New England fishing sailboat. Apparently, he could repair and restore just about any vessel, and using this skill to help others was how he earned money along the way.
As we talked from the docks, with his red wine and plastic cup in hand, he smiled and began to share a bit more candidly how felt like Forrest Gump in a way. “You know how after Forrest got back from the war, he decided to go for a run and just kept running? Well, when I got back from the war, I went for a sail, and just kept sailing”.
At some level, I felt both sadness and joy for this man. Joy, because he loved his work. Yet, sadness, because I wonder if he ever stopped running long enough to enjoy it? It also got me thinking how so many feel like we’re always on the run too – either running from, or toward something.
What’s cool is this sailor uses his talents to get boats back into sailing condition, ready to leave port, and head out to sea. Similarly, in my job, I get to help others prepare for all the uncertainties of life, so that they too can set their dreams to sail more safely. All of this is wonderful, and made even better for those who learn how to also enjoy it.
Zig Ziglar once said, “we can have what we want in life, if we will just help other people get what they want”. The question remains – what is it we want, and what is it we’re running to, or from?
I don’t know if that old sailor ever found what he’s looking for, but I’m grateful for the seed he planted in my heart to always remember we are all on a journey, filled with dreams, hardships, and beauty.
The blessing happens when we finally realize that knowing our why (what we want) impacts the what we do by directly shaping how we do it – and this of course, helps us and others take and enjoy this life journey so much better, and perhaps even a bit slower😊