The Art of Doing

What a Teenage Sailor Can Teach You
About Weathering a Storm

The coming of Hurricane Sandy reminded us of the adventures of one of the superachievers we interviewed for our book (due out Jan/2013).

Jessica Watson, a young Australian, sailed solo around the world, at the age of 16 on 34-foot sailboat. As dangerous as the conditions may be for those on Sandy’s path, Watson, who encountered squalls and storms during her 7 month journey, had no evacuation plan.

During one storm in the Atlantic Ocean Watson’s boat, Ella’s Pink Lady, underwent one knockdown after another. The boat turned over 180 degrees and Watson was flipped upside down in the cabin and left clinging onto the handholds with her feet touching the ceiling. [Expand ]

As we write about in our book (Chapter 31, “How to Sail around the World”), Watson found ways to manage her emotions to deal with each obstacle throughout her epic journey. The advent of a storm like Sandy is a reminder of how our lives can be interrupted by tumultuous events. And what Watson’s example teaches us is that when forces outside of our control—such as losing a job—throw us off course, it’s those who can deal head on with their own emotional state who are more likely to overcome and continue on.

As Watson told us,

“The success of your trip is as dependent on your mood as it is on your rigging. You’re down there in the middle of the ocean weeks from land or help. You can’t just say, ‘Okay I’ve had enough.'” [/Expand]


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