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Being too cautious can backfire...
by Michael Angier
photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and xedos4
The sailboat was coming slowly into the marina
under power. There was a south wind blowing
about 15-20 knots and it was beginning to rain. The
helmsman appeared confident and with several
crew aboard I elected not to walk over to the
other dock and offer assistance. But I kept an
eye out just in case.
As the skipper made the turn into his slip he
slowed even more--so much so that he stopped.
It was then that the wind pushed his bow around
and, before his crew could fend off, slammed it
into the end of the dock. With another go-around,
they recovered and eventually tied up safe and secure.
The hull's gel coat probably wasn't damaged nearly
as much as the pride of her skipper.
Always wanting to learn from others' mistakes, I thought
about what happened and how it could have been
avoided. It my opinion, the captain of
this yacht violated one of the basic principles
of seamanship: keep the boat moving.
In his well-intended effort to be cautious,
he lost steerage because the boat stopped its
forward motion. Without water flowing past
the rudder, he had no ability to direct his vessel.
Our lives are not boats, but it's not a bad metaphor.
Safe in harbor, we need times of rest and reflection
where action is not required. But in the
marketplace, when we take action, we need
to be doing enough to give us headway--enough
to guide and control our forward motion--to maintain
When we're moving ahead, we see things that
we wouldn't see at rest. We experience events
that otherwise wouldn't have occurred. Oftentimes,
the goal we start out to accomplish turns out
not to be what we wanted, but instead leads us
along our true path. All because of our forward motion.
A universal principle states that, "a body in motion
tends to remain in motion." Conversely, a body at
rest tends to remain at rest. And as we saw
in the example of the boat above, we can be
blown about by all manner of things that can,
and most often are, contrary to our intention.
When we rest, we should rest, but when the
time comes for action, KEEP MOVING!
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Michael Angier is the founder and president of Success Networks
International, publishers of SUCCESS STRATEGIES and SUCCESS
Success Net is an association committed to helping people to be more knowledgeable, productive and effective. Their mission is to inform, inspire and empower people to be their best--personally and professionally.
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