This Thanksgiving I was reflecting on our old sailing trips with family. Dad taught us how to sail. Or rather, I read alot of books down below or on the nets in the sun while my mom, dad & brother did all the hard stuff. When the sea was rough or wind strong however we all sat above deck and sailed together. When the wind was calm Dad would use terms like port and starboard, aft and stern. When the sea was rough all sailing terminology went out the window; it became right and left, front and back. It still makes me laugh.
For a few months Dave and I have been at sea, sails fluttering and flapping, reading the wind, double checking the charts. We’ve been a couple of degrees off. There have been some gusts, flutters and moments of inertia. We are learning to lean in.
During this particular voyage I’ve read or listened to a lot of books. A lot.
As I look back on the titles I realize there’s a theme. Here are my top 3 favourites.
Go For No
The 10X Rule
None of these titles would normally pull me in. But I’ve decided to read the books I’ve been resisting. Because this is the area I believe it’s time to grow in. Normally I’d read the more “follow your passion live your dreams type titles”. Nothing wrong with that but I’ve read a lot of them.
Figured maybe it was time to follow a different tack. Adjust the sails.
Have you ever seen a Trimaran at full tilt? They lean in to the water, to the wind and fly. A little scary as the speed builds, the sails tighten, one ama lifts out of the water, the other starts to submerge. There is a loud humming sound and a feeling like no other. It’s a bizarre feeling, fast but close to capsizing. Then when its time to change tack, the captain yells “ready about” and crew shouts back “ready”, captain yells "coming about! Everyone shifts their weight to the other side of the boat, main sail is tightened, boom given slack, captain pushes the tiller hard and the submerged ama flies, flying ama submerges, everyone ducks the boom as it swings across. It’s epic and intense and happens in a few moments.
Mom says your 40’s is a perfect time to work hard stretch yourself and put in the extra hours for comfortable years ahead. Kind of wish this had occurred to me in my 30’s, 20’s… We are encouraging the kids HARD right now. Go for it. Dream it. Pursue it. Lean in, submerge, fly. We would love them to find this perfect line now. Though of course we expect a few tacks, much fluttering and lots of changes in the wind.
Every year Dave and I have learned to read the wind a little better. Chart unchartered a little better. Worked a little harder. In the last two months we’ve had a “rest” period; we’ve been replacing some gear, learning the ropes, perfecting our communication and working on skills. We’ve slept harder, paid attention to our bodies needs and gained some needed energy. Now we have had a step back, assessed where we need to put our energy and are moving forward relentlessly. Going for it; not worrying about the No’s, not worrying about what others are saying about the weather. We are prepared. Storm jib at the ready, new ropes, new and bigger engine, lots of fuel in the tanks, 10Xing the efforts... we are in pursuit of an extraordinary life.
When I read these books I realized how much more I can be doing to change the world, change lives, change our own lives. I was on the highway the other day with a car in my blind spot. As I changed lanes, out of nowhere, it was there. We both swerved and it was a near miss. Scared me... it could have been fatal. My first thought was “not now God”. Not yet. I’ve got WAY too much to do. Way too much wind in the sails. Way too far to go. We are packed and ready to go the distance. Spent way too many years putting in minimal effort for minimal return. All those sayings I’ve heard a million times. Resonating. Humming in the wind. “Stop playing Small” “Go big or go home” “if you change nothing, nothing will change”.
Time for a new tack. Ready about? Ready about. Coming about! Whizz of the ropes, bring in the sails, boom swings hard, ama up, ama down, sails fill in and we’re flying again.
Our family boat (the Nandi)
Relentless; from good to great to Unstoppable By Tim Grover
Go For No - Network Marketing edition Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz w/Ray Higdon
The 10X Rule By Grant Cardone