You Are The Cap’n of Your Ship
Directionless is a word that should be stripped from everyone’s vocabulary and replaced with anchored. On a ship vessel, the anchor is used to restrict the motion of a vessel. In a storm, the anchor is unique in that it not only completely stops the boat from going in the wrong direction off course, but also prevents the storm waves from overwhelming the boat and the boat turning broadside to the waves. The boat can go anywhere without direction if the anchor is not used in a storm.
In your own life you might feel that anchoring your ship is putting the breaks on your ambitions, however, stopping the ship might just be what you need to get out of the storm. Only in a place of stillness can the inner thoughts be heard to soothe the confused and tired mind. Sitting at bay in the sea can allow new ideas to spring forth that can be the answer in sailing past the storm. One of those born ideas could be the deciding factor in making your ambitions a reality.
The story comes to mind of how an online startup went from nothing to an international thriving company. This startup’s goal was to provide an alternate solution to hotels. Founder Brian Chesky was at a point with his start-up where he could not keep consistent traffic on the site and it was challenging to get people to use his marketplace. At the beginning, he was only targeting travelers at national political conventions. Having launched the site four times and failed, he had nothing but time on his hands. You could say he decided to drop the anchor on the ship and wait. In that waiting period, his team and him decided of all things to make cereal.
He had the idea to send the people hosting places to stay on his site a breakfast as a way to say thank you and have some fun in the process. He made political cereal Obama O’s and Cap’n Mc Cains and received national attention. After all the press he hit a low point in his life and walked in his kitchen and realized he had nothing to eat, no money, and about $20,000 in credit card debt. Thankfully, he lived off of the Cap’n Mc Cain cereal that did not sell the next three months. Three months later Chesky was sitting with a friend who convinced him to apply for a program called Y-Combinator, an American seed accelerator or program for entrepreneurs to jump-start their company. By stopping, dropping the anchor, and listening on the right idea to come to him, he was able to produce the company we all know today as Airbnb.
Do not let fear convince you that waiting is the wrong thing to do. Sometimes it feels like waiting will sink the ship when in fact you will stay a float. In waiting and anchored you will hear opportunities that cannot be heard in traversing the storm. Waiting is a part of the journey and is necessary to find your true potential as the cap’n of your ship.