The Reason Ships Sink
I want to use a metaphor to explain how we’re affected by the things around us. I want you to picture a big powerful ship.Whether it’s a military ship, a cruise ship, or some other vessel, it spans long across the water. This ship is capable of traveling long distances through difficult currents to get to its destination.
A ship has one primary purpose, which is to stay afloat. It has been expertly crafted to maintain buoyancy with the right distribution of weight and materials to ensure that it can glide on top of the water. Now here’s the lesson - ships don’t sink because of the water around them, they sink because they get water in them.
The same is true for you and the influences of your life. You might be surrounded by the very thing that is your demise but it does not need to negatively impact you. Like a ship on top of water, you must navigate the danger, temptation, and vice around you without letting it affect you. Just because you’re surrounded by something does not mean it will dictate your life. Of course it has the potential to, should you let it win, but there are real things you can do to decrease the chances of that.
First is preparation. Understand the environment you’re entering. What storms are out there and how might that expose your weaknesses. Think through the physics of what materials and structures you need to maximize your frame. Sun Tzu says in “The Art Of War” - “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought”. Preparation creates confidence, which creates more presence to make the right decisions in the moment.
Then also, it’s really about highlighting the intention. What is the mission? What are you meant to do? When you add that perspective to the moment you have more awareness to know what is in alignment and what’s not. A ship chooses to leave the shore and take on the open ocean for a purpose, and when you connect to yours you find more direct ways to navigate the waters as effectively as possible.
The expectation cannot be that you avoid risk and danger at all costs, but rather that you can confidently move through it knowing how to prevent its influence on you. Like a ship surrounded by water, you must keep the negative influences out of your life if you want to stay afloat.