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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Going After Big Challenges

We received a very nice email from someone looking to make a life change. The sender shared, in summary, that getting from where they are to where they want to be (sailing around the world) is too big of a challenge and change for them; they were seeking advice.

We've found that if you want something bad enough, you will go after it regardless of the size of the task ahead of you. Whether it is sailing around the world, or owning an exotic car, or visiting the Great Wall of China, when you find what you really want, you will go after it and not even see the challenge.

Here are some general comments:
  • When we formally committed to this in September 2007, we predicted that we wouldn't be ready until April 2016. Still, we went forward and we've found that the possible sail date has slowly crept inward. First the date pulled in to April 2012, dropping 4 full years, and now it sits at December 2010. Maybe it will pull in even more! We don't know.
  • Focus on your daily actions, not so much on the end state condition. The latter will provide you mental fuel to remind you of why you're doing what you're doing, but you can't change the future state ... you can only change and control the now. So do something now. Focus on right now. I once heard a story about Dr. Livingston, the famous explorer of the 1800s, that, while it may be folklore, demonstrates this principle perfectly:
When Dr. Livingston was asked how he could possibly have made it to the interior of Africa given how much jungle he had to get through and the huge distances he had to travel, Dr. Livingston responded that he just focused on one vine at a time and he didn't know how far he had to go... and that if he did know, he may not have made the journey in the first place.
  • As far as we know, we will only get one ride on life's merry-go-round, and we refuse to spend it floating along. We will always move towards what we want.
  • People around you will want you to spend your life as they do, but we are going to spend our life as we want to. Often times the obstacles seen are illusions placed in the path of goal achievement by others, sometimes on purpose but more often than not simply out of ignorance. As you punch through each illusion, you will gain more confidence to challenge and knock down the next illusion.
As we get closer to making our voyage, under 275 days, the reality of owning life and being able to change it to whatever we want becomes more and more clear. Unfortunately, I cannot find the right words to convey the empowerment feeling, the true power of owning life, that we are gaining. Like love, it must be experienced to be understood.

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