I spend more time than most people on sailboats. Over the course of over thirty years on the water, I have learned some lessons that are helpful in life just as they are on the water. I’d like to share a few with you right now!

  •  A sailor needs skills to move a boat from one place to another just as people need certain skills to navigate life successfully. The bigger the boat, the bigger the move, the more skills are required. We certainly would not prepare for a sail across an ocean the way we would prepare to take our skiff to the other side of a pond. Prepare for life and work adventures accordingly.


  • A sailboat floats on fickle water. Sometimes flat, sometimes choppy or rolly, and sometimes downright angry. A sailor needs a good boat to act as the only available foundation for safe travel. People need a life foundation to create success. Build that foundation on love, virtues, and service to others.


  • Sailboats need wind and sails and a whole host of support equipment to effectively maneuver toward the destination just as people need resources to perform well. Understand the dynamics of life to avoid blindly following the prevailing currents. These are your life tools. Know them and know how to use them.


  • Choose your crew wisely. Sometimes we sail solo to enjoy the solitude and challenge, but in life, we work, play, love, and interact with people constantly. Choose your life crew wisely and appreciate them always.


  • Maps, charts, and specialty equipment allow sailors to navigate safely around obstacles and onward to the destination. In life, a well devised plan with waypoints and goals will act as an accurate GPS guiding you to your dreams. Autopilot is helpful on airplanes and even on sailboats for straight stretches, but usually not so good for people navigating life. Be prepared to adjust your plan but be diligent about reaching your goals.


  • Sailing can be dangerous just like life on land. We carry safety supplies, spares, backup plans, and life-saving equipment to deal with unexpected problems. In life, we build safety structures and habits to help us deal with maladies of all sorts. Be prepared for danger in all situations.


  • A good marine radio provides a link to other boats, to weather information, and to emergency services. In life, we maintain communication with family, mentors, friends, and others who can come to our aid in difficult situations both big and small. Build your communication skills.


  • Follow the rules. At sea, just as on land, we have rules to follow. Rules about where we can go and where we can’t, and rules about how to act in every situation. You have heard that rules are made to be broken but the basic rules about how we treat others and how we treat the earth’s environment should be followed always. Do your part and live with respect for people and nature.


  • Whether embarking on a short day-sail or a long adventure, provisions are key to health. We often take for granted the availability of food and water on land, but on a sailboat, you have few options when these basics are missing. Appreciate what you have and share with others. This earth can provide for all if we share with those in need.


  • Lastly, I would like to remind you to enjoy life. Make this short adventure something truly worth living. Invite yourself to embrace each day with awe and wonder, filled with love and joy and sharing. You will not regret approaching life this way when you learn that your adventure is nearly complete. Make the world a better place by being the best you can be and sharing the best you are with others. Find the power of nature in a sunset or a sunrise or a walk in the woods. Some of the best things in life are free and only require that we become aware of our surroundings. Also, if you get the chance to go sailing, do it. There’s nothing quite like a sunset over the horizon after a warm, beautiful, sunny day.


These lessons and more will be available in a book titled “Sailing to Success” later this year. LifeSuccess.com subscribers will have free access to this and other great LifeSuccess offers.



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