Ready To Sail

“There is a Japanese proverb that literally goes ‘Raise the sail with your stronger hand’, meaning you must go after the opportunities that arise in life that you are best equipped to do.” – Soichiro Honda

Isn’t that a marvelous quote from Mr. Honda? When I engage with you on strengths, integrity, and self-leadership, I am raising my sail with my strong hand. I am doing what I do best. And I will continue to pursue opportunities that allow me to do what I am best equipped to do.

Am I there yet? No. Is it easy? No. Do I ever feel discouraged? Yes. Do I wish there weren’t roadblocks? Boy, do I ever. But I’m not giving up. Here is my reasoning: if I give up, the opportunities will dry up. I refuse to allow that to happen.

It’s a big world out there. For every person, boss, company, friend, spouse, uncle, parent, 2nd cousin, and family pet that undermines your value, snorts at your vision, and says, “That’ll never happen!” you must laugh at them and walk away, reaffirming your dreams with every fiber in your body. Someday, you’re going to meet that One Person In The Universe that says, ‘OMG, I love what you have to offer. Let’s put a plan together and I’ll help you carry it forward.”

That happened to me yesterday. And it happened again today. My ship was ready to sail, and I responded by hoisting my sail with my stronger hand. In the business world we call that MOMENTUM.

When that same quality of person crosses your path – and they will – will you be on deck and ready to raise your sail with your stronger hand? Is your ship ready to sail? Have you identified and internalized your strengths, linked them to past successes (with metrics!), documented your motivators, prepared talking points, defined a mission and vision, and crafted an irresistible value proposition? Oh, it’s hard work, and it takes time, no question about it. Look at the photo above – all the ropes, and masts, and rigging required to support our sails. All that “stuff” is a metaphor for the internal and external effort required to prepare for success. A sail without structure captures no wind. Few make the effort or the journey.

However, if you have made your ship ready to sail, when the trade winds of destiny suddenly strike, you will soar to magical heights that were once upon a time hidden from your view, and it will remind you that all the hard work was worth it.

12 thoughts on “Ready To Sail

  1. I grew up in a family that always had impossible standards to live up to, hence, you never amounted to anything.., and simply gave up, or worse, didn’t even try.
    It’s a long journey to find that self-esteem, which was denied from such an early age. But.., we’re getting there… like seeing the first sparrows after a long sea voyage.

    Partly thanks to you, Maureen, and posts like these.

    • Rogier, thank you so much for your lovely comment – and this is the beauty of social conversations. I had no idea that you were raised like that. I know only the adult who is accomplished, fun, witty and a pleasure to engage with. I am glad you feel supported here – you nailed it with your remark about seeing the sparrows… so true, and while we are all on different points on the map, we are following similar paths. Question for you if you don’t mind answering it, what do you think your parents were trying to accomplish with their behavior? I think it’s unlikely they woke up and said, “Let’s destroy our kids’ self-esteem!” Do you think they thought that life is hard and we’re going to make it tough on you so that you rise above the challenges? I do not know what the “desired outcome” was in their mind but I find you to be remarkable, and I love your blog. For those of you who haven’t seen Rogier’s work, here is an excellent post on empathy:

  2. Wonderful post, Maureen! Momentum? YAY! I’ve seen you raise your sail with your strong hand time and time again – it’s hard to see the muscle building – but sounds like the the trade winds of destiny are striking – and that you are ready for it! ,

    • Thanks Vicki! I appreciate your support – and it’s nice to see the hard work that I encourage others to do has paid off for myself (over and over again.) Knowing our strengths is like sowing seeds. Then we must add rich soil, water, and fertilizer – else the seeds dry up and die… that process takes time and effort, but oh, how our garden grows! :-) Thanks for swinging by, my friend. Onward!

  3. Love this, and how wonderful to have and find momentum! It reminds me of the true definition of luck being when preparation meets opportunity.

    I appreciate this list: Have you identified and internalized your strengths, linked them to past successes (with metrics!), documented your motivators, prepared talking points, defined a mission and vision, and crafted an irresistible value proposition? – what a great tool and so useful in so many ways.

    Thanks Maureen – you’ve always got something that leaves me thinking and reflecting. – B

    • Bonnie, many thanks for your kind remarks. I think you value what I wrote because you are also a thinker, a reflector, a projector…. we love what we know. And I think you know what I know, that this is a journey that favors, as you said, the well-prepared. :-) Thanks for sharing your two cents!

    • Thanks David! You, too, are one of those in our circle who leads the way, shows your awesome stronger hand, and provides us opportunity to reflect upon our own journeys… It’s very helpful! I also like how you speak about the challenges of being “ready to sail” (using different words, of course.) You also highlight those who have left the dock…great stuff.

    • Hi Janet! So good to see you here! I always tell your story about how you and your team discovered Strengthsfinder, and that it helped you be even higher performing, even though you’d worked together for years… Don’t give up. More on that in my next blog…

    • Hello ConnectHR1! Welcome! :-) I replied to you once but the system ate it for lunch! I didn’t notice until today, darn it. Do glad you came over, and yes, momentum is key for our progress, our sense of well-being – there is nothing worse than languishing in no man’s land. Can’t wait to learn more from you! Onward!

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