The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Sails versus Rails: Why Life is More Like Sailing

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott

Sometimes I think we feel that life should be like a train ride. You get on at one station (that is, you’re born) and then chug chug chug along heading to different destinations (like high school, college, marriage, a job, travel, etc.) and ultimately, we all end up at our final destination. But really, life isn’t like that. Life isn’t a single straight shot with a few stops along the way in a nice climate controlled cabin. If you believe this is how life should roll, you’re going to be frustrated, confused, disappointed and likely a little freaked out. No. Life is not a train. In fact, it’s a lot more like sailing.

You can go straight in a sail boat, this much is true, but you’re also at the mercy of the wind which can push you off course and may require you to zig and zag to the left and right in order to reach your destination. Sometimes there is no wind at all and you feel stuck, waiting for a breeze to fill your sails (which eventually it will). At other times, there are storms that knock you off course but even these may just end up taking you to your destination but via a different path than the one you planned. At the end of the journey, you still get where you want to be but navigating there requires a little more creativity and some course changes along the way. Yup, sounds a lot more like life to me!

Think about it and then think about examples in your life that required you to plot and plan your course and then readjust your plan along the way. You’ve weathered storms, you’ve enjoyed calm conditions and you’ve had the wind at your back blowing you where you need to be. It’s nothing to be afraid of or worried about. It’s all about learning to sail your ship.

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