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The Ship That Never Got There

February 9, 2017

Before one begins climbing their mountain (see the last post), one must have a strong grounding in their core principles and values.

Many years ago an adventurer had heard of an island inhabited by beautiful and inviting people. The land was also filled with gold and precious gems. He dreamed of sailing to this island.

He knew it was a treacherous journey across often storm-tossed seas. So he commissioned the best ship builders to build a ship specifically designed for this voyage. He sought and hired several experienced sailors for his crew. They trained and prepared for the voyage while the ship was being built.

Finally the day arrived and with great fanfare they set sail. They had all the maps and other tools to set the course. All started fairly well, although the ship was difficult to keep on course.

This became a real problem when the first strong winds came along and threw them completely off course. The crew struggled to adjust the sails in order to get back on course. This problem worsened when a storm came along. Sometimes they found themselves going in circles.  No one could figure out why this was happening.

One day a severe storm hit them and they found themselves shipwrecked on the beach of an uninhabited island. After they checked to see if they were all okay, they checked the condition of the boat. The boat was marooned on the beach on its side. It was then that they discovered that the boat was inexplicably built without a rudder.

Our Rudder

In physical conditioning and training the current emphasis is on strengthening the core.  A strong core promotes overall strength, stability and balance.  If an athlete has trained hard in all areas, but has neglected his core, then his overall performance is at a minimum compromised.

This is true for all of us when we embark on climbing our mountain.  If we begin without a strong grounding in our values and principles, our core, our rudder, we will constantly be thrown off course.

There will assuredly be many tests of our commitment to our core values and principles. Without the stability provided by our core, our rudder, we will at best delay realizing our dreams, goals, and purpose.

Before starting or re-starting your climb, make sure you have a strong core.  Have something that is a constant reminder for you of your core principles and values.

 “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

Heart and Soul

An Oldie but Goodie updated from the original

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2017 12:58 pm

    Hi Fred,
    I really like this one. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of living intentionally. Not always easy to do! I’m going to use this rainy day to focus more on my “core” as your story so cleverly suggests.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      February 9, 2017 3:42 pm

      Hi Joan,
      I’m glad you liked this story and I hope it helps
      Thank you

  2. Steven permalink
    February 9, 2017 11:07 am

    We’re conditioned to “hit the ground running” and taught quiet reflection is wasting time. Simple self restraint and a momentary pause help the rudder become a more useful tool. The first few times I will flail it back and forth until learning that gentle course correction moves the ship forward faster, smoother. Excellent reminder on this hurried day. Thanks.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      February 9, 2017 11:15 am

      You always have such a thoughtful comment that adds much to the message

  3. Jocko permalink
    February 9, 2017 8:18 am

    Thank you, Fred. I think for some of us, the work is in finding the “values and principles” necessary to live life well. There’s a lot to sift through out there. Maybe that’s why we read your teachings.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      February 9, 2017 9:15 am

      Perhaps the Ten Commandments are a good place to find and remind of the “values and principles” necessary

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