Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ship at Sea metaphor

Your situation may be like a ship in the middle of the sea.

You may not know where you are.

You may not know if you are progressing or not.

You may be struggling hard to push forward, but are unsure whether you are going in the right direction, if you are going in circles, or if you are making any headway at all against the current or the wind.

Your frantic efforts to push the ship forward may result in the structural integrity of the ship starting to fail -- leaks here and there may not be addressed, or you might not notice the broken rudder.

It helps to know a few things:
1) there are ways to navigate, and these techniques need to be learned. You may be so focused on the task of propelling your ship, that you forget to look up at the stars at night, to see where you are. You may need to learn from others in order to navigate efficiently. The learning may need to take place through receiving advice, reading books, and practicing (with the expectation of making mistakes along the way).
2) Your efforts across the vast sea may be very significant, you may be making tremendous progress in your journey, but when you look out of your ship you may still see exactly the same blank, empty horizon with no sign of land. Be patient. You may be farther along than you think you are. Your efforts may have helped you more than you think they have.
3) you have to do regular maintenance on your ship -- resist the urge to frantically push forward, and reserve time for self-care.
4) the wind can be your ally, even if it is blowing against you. In sailing, one can use the power of a headwind to propel oneself forward--it requires a tactical change though, you have to "tack" by moving at an angle away from your desired direction, and "zig-zag" instead of going straight. Many goals in life require "tacking" instead of a direct approach.

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