Beyond the No Wake Zone

True adventure happens out past the buoys…


I get seasick easily, especially on sailboats (and fighter jets).  I’ve been on a few sailing trips.  They all had one thing in common.  Once we’re outside the no wake zone, my nausea starts.  Things go downhill from there until my head is buried under a towel and I try to sleep until we get to dry land.  Needless to say, I avoid sailing trips.

I don’t have a problem on cruise ships, except in rough seas.  Cruise ships are engineered to deliver a smooth ride for their passengers.  Most swells go unnoticed.  Passengers wake up in a new port almost every day, and the food and entertainment are usually spectacular.

Harbor cruises work for me.  I can handle cruising around inside the no wake zone, looking at all of the boats in their slips, the nice homes on the shoreline, and passing other boats as they make their way out to sea.  Christmas time, with all the lights and decorations is the best.  It’s relaxing and safe.  There are no swells to cause nausea and seasickness.

Every sailor knows the opportunity for new discovery lies beyond the no wake zone.  True adventure happens out past the buoys, past the breakwater, and out in the wind and waves.  Riding around in the harbor, or lazily enjoying a multi-course dinner on a cruise ship are fun and sometimes exotic.  But, neither compare to the adventure of plying the seas in a forty-foot sailboat, with your hand on the tiller.

What about the risks?  Staying on shore has risks.  Cruise ships certainly carry risk (and sometimes, viruses).  We may take comfort that others are managing our risks for us, but nothing is risk free.  Storms and rough seas will hit, no matter who drives the boat.  Understanding the risks, planning and preparing for them, and facing our challenges head-on is the only consistent winning strategy…at sea, and in life.

What about seasickness?  I remember talking with a sailor in Tahiti.  We had flown in for a vacation, and met my mother-, and father-in-law, who were sailing their boat across the South Pacific.  The sailor was a friend of theirs.  I mentioned my problem with seasickness, and how it would prevent me from making such a voyage.

He laughed and said, “The seasickness usually passes after three days at sea.  After that, it’s an adventure of a lifetime.”

He was right.

The First Question People Ask About Any Change

There’s one question above all others that people ask when a change comes into their life.

There’s one question above all others that people ask when a change comes into their life. It doesn’t matter if the change comes in their personal or professional life. The change can be mundane or momentous. Gas prices went up. Your company is acquired by another company. You get a new boss. Road construction blocks your favorite way to the office. Your wife is pregnant. Your daughter just introduced you to her new boyfriend. Your dad was just diagnosed with cancer.

It doesn’t matter whether the change is good or bad (whatever the definitions of “good” or “bad” are to you). It doesn’t matter if the change impacts someone else more than you. Whether people admit it or not, the first question that comes into their head when confronted with a change is:

How will this change affect me?

Does this mean we are instinctively selfish or self-centered? Maybe. More on that later.

People making a change that impacts others have the luxury of getting to answer this question, long before their change is sprung on anyone else. This fact is often forgotten by people driving changes in an organization. People need time to understand the answer to this question, before they can move beyond and start to answer all of the other questions that your change may bring.

About the selfishness question…Your dad was just diagnosed with cancer and your first question (to yourself) is, “How will this affect me?” Does this make you selfish? That all depends on your second question (the one you say out loud).

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