You are never safe from negation. Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain. Negativity is an ever present and unwanted companion that continually invites you to abandon your dreams. Everyone moving in the direction of their dreams will suffer defeats and sometimes feel their dreams are impossible. Negativity will attempt to derail them on the path of achievement, and the temptation to quit will be strong. Everyone wants life to be easy. They want either no opposition at all or opposition to politely step out of the way as they move toward their goals. This is unrealistic. People who achieve their dreams aren’t strolling through life; they are climbing the mountain of difficulty, and hard work and perseverance are the only way to reach the top.
If you ever reach your dreams, it will be because you stopped listening to the voice of fear and negation. You stopped looking at your limitations and stopped constructing barriers that exist only in your mind.
When you decide to sail around the world on a sailboat, you encounter an ocean of opposition. A crowd of naysayers and critics freely offer unsolicited opinions and advice concerning your proposed circumnavigation of the globe. Friends are sure you are having a midlife crisis. When you write the check to pay for your yacht, they inform you that you have made a down payment on an expensive funeral at sea. They tell you all of that money could have been spent on a nice house, 100 channels of cable television, and the help of a good therapist to get you over this foolish desire to sail around the world. The easiest thing to find on planet earth is someone to tell you why your dreams are too expensive, too dangerous, and a waste of time. With cheerleaders like that, it’s amazing anyone pursues their dreams.
It’s not just family and friends who question your judgment. During moments of adversity, you wonder whether you are heading down a one way street in the wrong direction. The voice of fear starts a powerful negative chorus that repeats itself thousands of time, and if you start listening to its message, your dreams will evaporate.
What would happen if you fall off the boat at night at sea? What happens if a whale rams your boat? What happens if you hit a floating log, or if a ship runs you down at night? What happens if a hurricane strikes? What happens if you meet pirates or drug runners? What if your boat is struck by lightening? What if your boat runs up on a reef and is destroyed on a remote deserted island? What if you get sick when you are at sea? What if you have appendicitis when you are one thousand miles from land? What if you hit your head or break a leg? What if your boat turns upside down? What if there is a fire or explosion on board? What if you collide at night with a floating container that has fallen off a ship? What if you become seasick? Who will stay awake at night and stand watch while you sail offshore? What if your boat sinks and you lose all of the money you invested in the yacht? What if you loose your medical skills while you sail around the world? How will you ever be able to return to the practice of medicine?
I experienced all of these negative thoughts many times before I purchased my yacht. Those thoughts could have stopped my voyage before it got started. My dreams would have been stillborn if I listened to the voice of fear.
If I listed all of the reasons why I shouldn’t sail around the world in a small sailboat, I could write a hundred page document full of disaster, difficulty, and despair. I know dozens of reasons why my dreams are too expensive and involve too much risk. If I listen to the voice of fear and negativity, I will sit at the dock and watch everyone else sail on the ocean of their dreams.
Once I hoisted my sails in Fort Lauderdale and started my voyage, I had dozens of opportunities for negativity to sink the ship of my dreams. On my first night at sea, I experienced the most powerful thunderstorm I encountered on the entire trip around the world. Surely, that must have been a sign sailing around the world is a bad idea. It was a message to stop the voyage in the Bahamas, anchor the boat in Chicken Town, and check in to Hotel California where I could never leave, but at least I would be safe.
When I reached the Panama Canal, the voice of fear again tried to cancel my dream of sailing around the world. There is no need to transit the Panama Canal and sail in the Pacific. Just stay in the Caribbean and have a wonderful cruise. The Pacific Ocean is a vast body of water with reefs, cyclones, and killer whales that could destroy my yacht. The voice of fear told me to stay in the Caribbean forever.
After I arrived in the Pacific, the voice of fear started a new verse with the same fearful chorus. It’s three thousand miles from the Galapagos Islands to French Polynesia. You are at sea day and night for three weeks. You don’t see any other humans for twenty-one days, and there’s no one to rescue you if you get into trouble. Don’t go. Stay in Nowhere Land where you’ll be safe.
After I arrived in French Polynesia, the voice of fear said to skip sailing to the Tuamotu Archipelago. You will hit a reef as you sail through the atolls. The passes through the reefs into the lagoons are too small, and once inside you will be trapped. A storm could easily destroy your yacht when it’s inside a potentially treacherous lagoon. Sailing in the Tuamotus involves high risk. Skip them and sail directly to Tahiti.
After I sailed across the Pacific Ocean, it was necessary to sail twelve hundred miles south from Fiji to New Zealand. It’s a big trip into higher latitudes and the voice of fear again rippled through the cruising fleet. The talk was of storms with special emphasis on the recent Queen’s Birthday storm in which lives and yachts were lost. Sailing in the higher southern latitudes presented new and unfamiliar risks. The voice of fear filled everyone with a sense of foreboding. Sailing to and from New Zealand is scary. Some mariners left their yachts in storage in Fiji to avoid the sail south. Other sailors loaded their yachts on freighters and shipped them home.
Several weeks after I arrived in New Zealand, I rolled the car I was driving. I broke both legs, fractured five ribs, punctured one lung and had internal bleeding. I was transfused seven units of blood, had three surgeries, and spent two months in the hospital. Surely, this disaster proved sailing around the world was a bad idea. The sensible thing would be to sell the yacht, buy a plane ticket to Nowhere Land, and start watching cable television where I would be safe and secure for the rest of my life.
Negativity can overtake you anywhere on the path to your dreams. I could have stopped my trip around the world a dozen times before I reached New Zealand.
Surrendering dreams is easy. You can do it anywhere or anytime. Most people will tell you that you are doing the right thing when you sell your dream machine and join the ranks of the Life Long Disoriented.
Negativity is a stalker that never goes away; it’s your unfailing and unwanted companion eternally inviting you to abandon your dreams.
Negativity is a dream stealer. Don't listen to the voice of negativity. Instead, listen to the sound of your dreams.
Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.
Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.
Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.
Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.
After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.