Inspiration is Personal
My husband and I had dinner with friends last week, the kind of friends who open their hearts when they open their arms. We’ve known this couple for over nine years, meeting by chance when they returned our friendly wave with smiles as they walked past us on a beautiful Caribbean beach. Sometimes you just know . . .
They returned several weeks ago from a sailing adventure—one that had taken them and their 50’ sailboat across the Atlantic to the Canary Islands, Portugal, and their boat’s current home, Spain. Along the way, they shared photos and short posts on social media. From the pictures, the journey looked treacherous and demanding – images of nature’s fists battering the sails and huge waves washing over the boat, requiring anyone on deck to wear a harness and lifeline to keep from being tossed overboard. During the trans-Atlantic crossing, they lost their generator, tore a Genoa sail, and sustained more than a few injuries from the churning, roller-coaster ride. It was the kind of life-experience that comes with mental challenge, physical stress, and a gut-wrenching dose of fear.
So when they flew back to the States to spend time with family and friends, we were excited to catch-up. We wanted to hear their stories. More than that, I wanted to know if their decision to take such a huge leap of faith—cutting the cord with conformity, corporate jobs, and the cultural imperative of following the herd—had provided the reward they were seeking. In short, was it worth it?
After dinner, they showed us the videos they’d taken at sea. The power of the water and wind was beyond anything I could have imagined. As I watched the elements continue to pound their boat for what seemed like hours on end, I could feel the fear of being so close to nature’s raw power. And yet, there was something else . . . a sense of exhilaration. I could easily imagine the rolling motion of the boat as it sliced through the water at angles over 45 degrees, and hear the sound of the wind racing across the sails. I noticed our friends were also caught up in the moment, as they narrated the video and relived some of the highlights of the trip.
They didn’t have to make the trip by boat. They could’ve flown to their destination—the Canary Islands—to trace the history of their family, to integrate with the culture, and explore a new world. They could’ve kept their home, cars, furniture—all the trappings of success and security. They could have simply taken an extended vacation, then returned to their regular lives, and the comfort that had held them back for so long.
But they didn’t.
After years of considering, discussing, and eventually committing to a new and different future, they took a risk, a challenge, to find out what new experiences awaited them, to live to the extreme—in the moment—facing the future head-on, without the option of turning back.
Inspiration. It comes to us in different ways, at different times in our lives, and for different reasons. It can spark an idea, curiosity, and enough motivation to consider the possibilities.
If we let it.
Is there some aspect of your life you’ve put on hold, waiting for inspiration to arrive? The very fact you’ve thought about it—continue to hold onto the idea and, after days, or months, or even years still consider it important—is a personal kind of inspiration. The kind that keeps reminding you of a change you want to make. You can start now, tomorrow, or next year. But make no mistake. The time will pass anyway. And the sooner you begin, the sooner you can change those thoughts from a nagging reminder to a source of motivation and pride as you move closer to your goal.
Whether it’s weight loss, getting back in shape, or a desire to clean up your diet, feeling better about yourself can have overwhelmingly positive effects on your life.
All it takes is commitment, and the willingness to take a risk. Even one as small as smiling back to a friendly, waving couple on the beach.
If you’d like to know about our friend’s travels, visit www.SailAwayWithNorthWind.com
What, or who, inspires you to consider the possibilities? Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know the challenges you’re facing, and I’ll do my best to give you a few ideas about how to get started—right now and right where you are!