The Secret To Success
Well here we are, the last day of the year twenty fourteen and what a year it’s been, here are the Cliffs notes;
- Finished building Gleda
- Moved out of our rented cottage for good
- Transported Gleda to the coast
- Assembled her, launched her, rigged her
- Completed sea-trials
- Sailed some 400nm along the coasts of Devon & Cornwall
- Spent Regatta Week in Fowey & saw the Red Arrows
- Sailed with Tall Ships in Falmouth
- Spent 230 days living aboard (171 of those afloat)
We’ve met many people, we’ve made lots of new friends and we’ve been visited by James Wharram & Hanneke Boon.
We’ve had help and support from so many folks, directly and indirectly, you know who you are and Gail and I will always be grateful. Special mention though must be made of Jake Woodnutt , not only for his superhuman efforts at Weir Quay but for his wasted journey from Dublin when we hoped to sail South in September. We’re both looking forward to rewarding him with a super voyage in the Spring.
During the year we’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the long-term followers of the project which was fantastic and we look forward to meeting more of you in 2015.
All in all it’s been quite a ride.
So as we start a whole new year I guess I need to set some new goals, make some resolutions, lay out some objectives, it’s what we’re supposed to do isn’t it?
But you know what? I’m not going to and I’ll tell you why.
When I look back at what was achieved last year I feel no guilt in saying that I’m well proud of myself (I’m also very very proud of Gail for the way she’s stayed so strong and adapted so well to what was for her the most extreme lifestyle change imaginable).
But here’s the thing, there were many times during the year when I got depressed and beat myself up about what I hadn’t achieved, times when I felt like I’d failed, times when I completely lost sight of how far I’d come.
Over the past weeks though I’ve been able to take some time to look back over the years of work it’s taken to get to where I am today and in doing so I suddenly realised that the whole process had given me an invaluable lesson for life, a lesson I simply hadn’t recognised before and, coincidentally I saw a quote the other day that sums the lesson up perfectly.
It’s from the late Jim Rohn and goes something like this;
Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy goal or ideal
Now I’ve lost count of the folks who’ve stopped to chat as they walk past Gleda on the pontoon, folks who, when I say I built the boat from scratch, look incredulous, shake their heads in wonder and praise my achievement, and as she floats here in all her 38ft x 22ft glory even I still find it hard to believe. But she’s real alright and she exists because one day I decided building her was a worthy goal and that goal became a reality only by working progressively day on day, month on month, year on year. But here’s the strange thing, most people would say that I succeeded, that I reached my goal, and of course to some extent they’d be right and yet when I reached my ‘goal’ I felt a bit empty, and now I know why.
Let’s imagine that on the day I cut that first sheet of plywood there’d been a completed Tiki 38 sitting outside for me to look at, would that have helped? I don’t think so, I think that completed Tiki 38 would have made the fantasy too real, that I’d have given myself too much pain by focusing on how far away from it I was. The only way I was able to finish building was to forget about finishing, to focus only on the job in hand on that particular day. Every time I looked and planned too far ahead I got slapped, I got depressed.
It’s what we all do isn’t it, we’re brought up to do it. We think we’ll be happy when we succeed in getting what we want. It might be a house, a car, more money, a better job, sailing to Portugal, the list is endless but ‘Success’ as a destination is a fantasy, an unreachable goal and many of us beat ourselves up daily because we’re ‘failing’ to get there. But as sailors we should know better, after all we know very well that we can sail towards the horizon but we also know that we’ll never cross it, so we just take pride in navigating our vessels steadily in the right direction and focus on enjoying the journey.
So rather than make some concrete New Year Resolutions that will inevitably fall by the wayside I’m simply doing this;
I’ve set out a few worthy goals; I want to create, I want to learn, I want to explore and I want to help others. Every day I’ll try to do at least one small thing that contributes to those goals. Somedays I’ll do more, somedays I’ll fall short, but day on day, month on month I’ll be making progress, I’ll be successful and I’ll be happy.
Oh and I’m already making more effort to enjoy the journey.
We’ve just been through the three coldest nights of 2014, it’s been beautiful.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!