Some years ago, a friend and myself attempted to row across the Indian Ocean from Australia to Africa for charity. It was a wonderful journey mentally, physically and spiritually. Some ‘incidents’ occurred on route and after a period of reflection I would like to share one of these with you as it reminded me of the sometimes obvious actions/choices we have in our lives that we so often disregard.
Course and Direction. We decided early on that we wanted to maintain a due west line across the Ocean - this seemed to be our best tactic. After all, we tend to think that a straight path will be the quickest and shortest route between any two points. The ocean winds and currents would want to drive us north all the time towards the Indian continent and hence further away from our goal of the African coastline, so keeping as direct a line as possible was our target every day. BUT, in hindsight we would have been better served possibly if we had not tried to fight the side battering of wind and wave in our attempt to maintain this rigid straight line. Rather, we should have just ‘gone with the flow’ literally. Sure it might have taken us ‘off line’ temporarily, but the major saving would have been from the battering. It took us many weeks of very hard work to realise that a slight change in the direction would help us in the long run. Suddenly by running with the wind and waves we started to make better daily progress and received less ‘battering’ from the elements! When the wind was slight, that was the time to head back to our line which inevitably meant us rowing southwards for a while. Boy was it worth it!
Moral of the story
In some ways this is exactly what life is about. We all enjoy direction and focus. What are we doing, where are we going, how are we going to get there sometimes are major 'drivers' for us. Knowing when to maintain a steady straight course, but also recognising that occasionally we might need to go off on a detour in order to achieve our goal(s), is a great habit to have. Knowing when to make a change is a wonderful skill, rather than obstinately keeping going when things are not working out. So, to be not afraid to change course once in a while is very liberating - try it!
If you want to read more about this voyage across the ocean then you can buy a copy at Amazon, titled 'Wild Waters in the Roar', http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wild-Waters-Roar-Mike-Noel-Smith/dp/1438904207/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453290003&sr=1-1&keywords=Wild+Waters+in+the+Roar