Do you have a vision board? I've made them for several years, but I hadn't in a long time, until last week. I made a new one!! It was so much fun. While creating it, I ran across this picture from fiveish years ago, and I immediately heard,
You are the captain of your life. Go live it!
It reminded me that other people in my life either enhance it or detract from it, but I am the one in charge of it.
Then, I started thinking of all the years I raced sailboats. For over a decade, I raced nearly every Saturday and Sunday from May until the end of September on Lake Michigan. I raced in buoy races, both long and short, where you had a course to complete. I raced in long-distance, where we would race from Chicago to other ports around Lake Michigan. I've been my hottest and my coldest in my life on a boat. And I LOVED it! Being on or by the water is my happiest place.
Now, racing sailboats often requires a crew. You can race solo, a two-person crew, or up to a dozen + depending on the size and need of your boat. I was often part of a six to eight-person crew, and for the most part, I raced on light air flyers (we could go FAST with little wind where heavier boats needed it to be blowing for their top speed).
A crew consists of a:
Captain: leader, often the boat owner
Helmsman: Responsible for steering the boat (often the boat owner)
Navigator: Responsible for the route, main advisor to the captain & helmsman
Foredeck person: Responsible for taking care of the sails at the bow of the boat
Sail trimmers: Responsible for trimming the varying sails for optimal speed
I was a sail trimmer, chute packer, and the one who got sent on the low side to fix things because I am small and lighter weight (weight shifting affects your sailing speed). They didn't want a 'big guy' on the low side as it would slow us down. Meaning... I was the one who got the wettest. :)
While the captain is in charge, he/she/them needs a crew working together for maximum efficiency and speed. The captain needs to trust the crew to do their jobs well and fast but in unison with the other crewmembers. A tiny sail adjustment could put you seconds ahead of your competition to win. The navigator catching a wind shift before the competition could bring about victory. Each role was important, but truly the greatest importance was teamwork. Each role doing their best at their role in cohesion with the other crewmembers.
I really miss my racing days. Not the yelling - there was a lot of that. And not winning or losing. I miss being on the water, working with the crew to perform our best when the seas were calm or rough. I LOVE pleasure sailing, but there is something special in having a destination to meet and working together to make it happen.
With that said, please know that YOU are the captain of your life. You are the leader, and you get to choose whom to have in your crew to support your efforts.
Moving forward, I encourage you to look for your crew by:
Looking for your believers. Please know that believers don't mean they are 'yes' people, but they are people who SEE YOU and want you to succeed.
Paying attention to the energy they bring to your life. While positive people are not positive all the time, I am sure not, they choose to look for the good in situations. Sometimes it takes a lot of looking, but they are committed to rising above whatever challenges they may be facing in their life.
Being that support for them too! SEE THEM and their dreams. Pay attention to the energy you are bringing to your relationships as much as you are paying attention to the energy others are bringing to you.
Mostly, I want you to see how very precious and fragile life is, build your crew with people who deserve to share your time, heart, energy, and talents with. The people who enhance your life rather than detract from it.
Until next time, be part of my crew and come sail away with me!
I am the captain of my life and I lead it with LOVE.
Words to LOVE by:
"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship."
- Louisa May Alcott
"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
"Calm seas never made a good sailor."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt