A lot of stuff happens in your life that you have no control over and sometimes it can feel like being a boat that is carelessly tossed about by an ocean storm. But sailors don’t throw their hands up. They can’t control Mother Nature, but they can control how they respond. Fortunately, they have a wide range of tools to call on.
- Heaving-to: They could counterbalance the foresail and the mainsail to slow their boat’s forward progress.
- Lying a-hull: Or they could down all sails, batten the hatches and lock the tiller downwind and let the boat drift at the mercy of the storm.
- Using a sea anchor: They could throw a sea anchor over the bow, to keep the boat stationary and their bow facing into the waves while the storm winds blow.
- Warping: They could move the boat by hauling on the sea anchor line and pull the boat in that direction.
- Throwing a drogue:Instead of an anchor that tries to hold them stationary, they could deploy a drogue from their stern to slow their speed and keep their hull perpendicular to the waves.
There is plenty in your life you can’t control either, but you don’t have to throw up your hands. There is always one thing you can control: what you give.
What meaning can you give the situation that empowers you to feel strong, to act, and to serve others?
What help can you give others who are going through the same situation?
What can you give to yourself so that you are healthy enough to survive the storm?
When you focus on what you can give to your situation, you’re being proactive and taking conscious control over your behavior. When you focus on giving, you create empowering meanings and new opportunities that didn’t exist before. No matter what’s going on, you’ll feel better knowing you’ve taken control of the parts you could take control of.
Give, because it gives you more control over your life even when you can’t control anything.