“The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.” – Edward Gibbon.
When I first heard this quote, it sparked both my interest and that of my husband. My husband, Mark, enjoys sailing. He has a Hobie Cat 14ft. The first time I went out on his boat I was amazed at how even a smallest wind would allow the boat to cruise steadily along, all it took was positioning the sail correctly. This got me thinking, what does one need to do to navigate your way through life?
The Ablest Navigators of life
The ablest navigators in life tend to move along with even the smallest gust of wind in their sails. I have heard countless stories about successful business men and women who were able to navigate their way to riches with the smallest opportunities. They knew how to position their sails to catch the wind of opportunity and make progress.
Sometimes a large gust of wind disturbs our sail boat and we topple over into the water. When this happens the sailor works at turning his boat back over and then carries on going. Even when we get dunked, or lose control of our boats temporarily, we can still recover, and sometimes we are better off than we were originally, like when I fell in love with my husband.
5 things you need to navigate your way through life
- Find the winds of opportunity. Opportunities don’t always come knocking at the door, sometimes they stand outside the door and wait for you to come looking for them. I have had experiences in my life where I have had to go out and look for opportunities. For example, if I was looking for a house to buy, I wouldn’t sit around waiting for a friend to tell me that they were selling their house. Instead I would visit property websites, keep an eye on auctions, and perhaps even phone a few real estate offices (if I was urgently looking for a place). Even the smallest gust of wind can get you to where you want to go.
- React appropriately to the waves of change. Sometimes we are up, sometimes we are down, and other times a wave knocks us over. There is always going to be change in our lives. How a person reacts to that change is what makes us stand out from the rest. Let’s say the business you work for is downsizing and your job is on the line. You can either sit worrying about whether you will loose your job or not, or you can start looking for another job. A successful navigator may even see this as an opportunity to branch off on his own as a consultant, or start his own small business. Some people make a mountain out of a mole hill, other’s start a pest control business.
- Plot your course. If you don’t know where you are going, you will get nowhere fast. This is fine if you are one of those people who doesn’t care where life takes you, but if you have any hopes or dreams for your future, then it is best to plot your course. I know of a person who said “I want to be rich”. After that he went out and bought every book about financial management and investing he could get his hands on. Not only did he buy them, but he also read them and put to practice everything he read. I haven’t spoken to him in a while, but if anybody I know is going to become wealthy then I am convinced it is him. Every person I have heard of who has succeeded in navigating through life knew where they wanted to land up before they started off on the journey.
- Know your boat. In this case, your boat are the skills and assets you have at your disposal. You need to know what your abilities are, what your limitations are, and what you will need to do to improve your skills. Your time and your skills are your greatest asset. They are your number one way to get to wherever you want to go. If you don’t have the capital to improve your boat (skills base), then use the skills you have to gain the capital you need to improve your skills base to so that you can get to where you want to go.
- Create good relationships with your crew. Your crew is your support network of friends and family. Almost all people in life want somewhere to belong. This is evident of teenagers who join gangs, adults who join churches and musicians that start bands. The most successful people in life either have close family units, or a close friendship circle, some even have both. Take a look at the crew you have around you. Are they building you up? Do they support you in the course you wish to take with your life? If they don’t then perhaps you should start looking for a new crew. If they do, then build onto the relationships you have with them. When a wave knocks you over, then they will be there to pick you up and remind you why you started off on this course in the first place.