Make Ship Happen

By John R. Nocero & Jennifer S. Rawley

John: Something bad just happened in your life. You wrecked your car. You lost your job. The dog ran away. Your spouse left you for her old high-school flame she hit up on Facebook that she was catching-up with. What do you do?

You are the captain of your own ship. Unless you have got 50-plus feet of fiberglass underneath you, you’re not immune. Sooner or later, you’re going to get caught in high winds, big seas or both. Accept it, and do something about it. Make ship happen.

“You are the captain of your own ship.”

You can’t control the circumstances that the ocean we call life tosses at you, but you can control your bearings and your own compass. This concept it not new. But it not one that everyone accepts. With the advent of social media – and people only posting the good moments in their lives – we tend to assume that those people who have the money, job, career accolades and many of the things that we (that means you) want, that they must have gotten it through nefarious means, or networked better than you, had better breaks, fell into a job with the right perks, or grew up rich and could afford to make mistakes because the family had enough money to bail them out.

You call them lucky? Lady luck is a fickle mistress. She really doesn’t do anything for you. She simply opens a door. You need to walk through it. Sometimes you don’t see it as an opportunity, until you miss it.

Jen: Moving from passive thinking to active doing is often the most difficult step, especially when we feel broken. Regardless of circumstance, most of us naturally lean towards being either ‘thinkers’ or ‘doers.’ In reality, we should try to find a balance of both qualities. John and I only recently began working together, but compared to one another, it’s obvious he is more of a ‘doer’ and I am more a ‘thinker’. Fortunately, we understand this about ourselves and can use this knowledge to complement and synergize projects. Knowing your natural tendencies and then strategizing around them is key.

When situations beyond our control turn negative, we risk slipping into endless contemplation or feeling sorry for ourselves. At times, I am guilty of perseverating on negative situations, especially I feel victimized by circumstances. In actuality, it’s merely a less obvious method of procrastination delaying resolution of problems.

To move away from this tendency, I had to adjust my mindset. I suddenly realized having a justifiable reason or a right to excessively think or complain about something does not mean I should complain or worry. Wow – major revelation! Absurdly simple, but it has been a game-changer for me. Since my day of epiphany I have been able to take action to improve my circumstances faster and with more clarity than in the past when I allowed myself to overthink far too much.

“We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”

Many of us have heard popular motivational quotes about sails and wind. One of my favorites is from Thomas S. Monson who said, “We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” The cynical side of me sometimes creeps up to argue “what if there isn’t any wind?” I remind myself there are always choices and this is no different. I can worry about the lack of wind but ultimately do nothing or I can choose to stay positive, float with the current and hope wind will come. However, if I want to make real progress, I might instead tear down the sail and make a paddle.

John: This is who we are, where we are and we are doing something about it. If you are not there yet, seek to understand the reason(s) why and resolve it. You might not have the experience you want, connections you wish for, a dream job, or resources you think you need. Don’t allow these nuances to hold you back. Adjust your sail and find a place where the wind is blowing. If that’s impossible, make a paddle. Just make the ship happen.

Originally published on LinkedIN on 7/16/18 see it here