WHY DO PEOPLE go cruising the face of the earth in small sailboats? I think most people cruise to find happiness, or at least inner contentment. But then we have to ask: What is happiness? Happiness is as elusive to find as it is to describe. I believe it’s the byproduct of working toward a goal. Happiness is serendipitous. It ambushes you while your attention is focused on your goal. If you deliberately chase happiness, it runs away from you. But if you chase a goal, happiness sneaks back.
So what should a cruiser’s goal be? Almost anything you decide in advance to achieve through thick and thin. To sail around the world is a goal, but rather a grand one. Your goal doesn’t need to be that grand. It could be to collect certain rare shells from far-flung islands. To photograph six different kinds of whales in six oceans. To make a video or write a book. To retrace Slocum’s route and collect postage stamps from every country he visited. To climb certain mountains on certain islands. To take mid-ocean temperatures for the Scripps Institute. You're limited only by your imagination.
Having a long-term goal, a definite objective, gives purpose to a voyage, removes uncertainties, and resolves many decisions that otherwise become burdensome, contentious, and, in the end, lethal to congenial relationships.
So if you want a successful cruise, set a goal that everyone can agree on —and firmly never budge.
Today's Thought A singular disadvantage of the sea lies in the fact that after successfully surmounting one wave you discover that there is another behind it just as important.
A man visits his doctor. He presses his leg and says: “It hurts here.” He presses his ankle and says: “It hurts here.” He presses his ribs and says: “It hurts here.” He presses his nose and says: “It hurts here. What's wrong with me?
“Broken finger,” says the doctor.