Last week was all about witnessing admirable in action through the lens of the cave rescue in Thailand. This week we’re focusing on the results of their actions through this week’s #Go52 theme, prosperous.
“It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” George William Curtis
Last week’s rescue was a prosperous one for many reasons. Not only did they have a common reason driving their pursuit, but the team that was assembled included people who were well versed in their craft. They weren’t amateur divers leading the evacuation of each child. Those who led the way were highly skilled, expert divers, with hours upon hours of training and practice. Those who crafted the plans were experts on the lay of the cave and weather patterns. You could repeat this for every member of the rescue team. It was their collaborative skill and drive that led to prosperous results.
How do we replicate this for ourselves in the work that we’re doing? We go sailing! Bear with me here.
Building a Ship
You’ve just entered a sailing competition that’s scheduled for two years from today but have no experience in sailing other than seeing someone else do it from afar. “I have time to learn,” you think. According to the rules, you must build your own craft to be eligible to sail in the competition. Each person who enters is provided with the equipment and supplies needed to build their ship. What’s missing? Instructions. You (and every other entrant) receive an image of the final product but lack the step by step breakdown to move from pieces to completed ship.
It’s a good thing that you have options! You can recruit someone with expertise to help you out. You can dig in and do the research to learn how to build it yourself. You could do a combination of the two, or you could walk away altogether. Which would you choose? Go ahead and answer this for yourself. Now determine why that was your choice. In this instance it’s okay to talk to yourself. In fact, it might help you out in a moment. So, your answer is?
The choice you make in this stage of preparation can impact your sailing later on. Imagine you pay an expert to come in and build the ship with the supplies and equipment provided to you. Great! The boat is built, but how well do you understand its inner-workings? This could be detrimental to your next step, learning to sail.
Learning to Sail
In order to be a contender in this sailing competition, you must learn the ins and outs of sailing. It might help to understand port vs. starboard, the bow from the stern, the jib from the mainsail, what heeling is, and understanding tack. Getting well versed in the terminology and understanding the basics of sailing will no doubt help you identify the left side of the boat from the right, the front from the back, the big sail vs. the one in front, what happens when the wind pushes your sail, etc. But why is this important?
This competition requires more than just building the boat. You have to know how to sail it. It is after all, a sailing competition. Effective understanding of the ins and outs of your ship builds confidence, and that confidence gives you the wherewithal to steer through rough waters. We’re talking about the difference between sailing and capsizing.
Practicing the Craft
Now it’s one thing for me to understand how to sail through rough waters. It’s another thing entirely for me to have experience to draw from during the competition. Not only is it important that you understand the terminology and have a grasp on how this whole sailing thing works, but it’s ever important that you put words into action through practice.
In theory, I know enough about sailing to get on a boat today and know how to make it work. In practice though, I know just enough about sailing to get on a boat today and look like a hot mess.
To be prepared for a competition takes hours upon hours of practice honing a routine and learning how to use the wind as your first mate. Without it, you might find yourself stranded or lost at sea instead of finishing the race that you began.
Speaking of first mates, recruiting help can be a great boon for success. Sure recruiting help during the build, might help if you’re building it together (or they’re patient enough to explain each step as they build it solo). But you can also request assistance at each other step along the way, from learning about sailing to practicing to the actual competition itself (if the rules allow). Another boost? Recruiting the assistance of others to help you sail. It takes an awful lot of work and hands to make it work well. Asking for help from those who have more experience than us (and are also willing to share their expertise) can help us continue to grow.
Pulling it Together
So what does all of this have to do with replicating prosperity for our own pursuits? Only everything.
Replace sailing with the work you do (or want to do).
Building the ship or understanding the foundation of your work is important in setting a framework for learning. What were your answers to the questions above? Do they still apply when you substitute sailing for your work? Learning to sail or becoming immersed in the what and why of your work will prepare you to be equipped to practice your craft. Practicing your craft will provide you with experience to draw from when needed. Asking experts for help along the way will provide the assist as you grow and flourish.
The prosperous journey requires a skilled voyager. The more we knowledge we acquire the more skilled we become, and the closer we are to prosperous adventures.
Be prosperous and go sailing, friends!
C. L. Fails