I keep thinking back to this quotation:
[a big goal is like] crossing an ocean. Some people try [by themselves], day after day, … That’s like taking a rowboat across the ocean. It’s exhausting and usually unsuccessful.
Others have given up trying and throw themselves entirely on “relying on God’s grace.” They’re like drifters on a raft. They do nothing but hang on and hope God gets them there.
Neither trying nor drifting are very effective in [achieving the big goals]. A better image the sailboat, in which if it moves at all, it’s a gift of the wind. We can’t control the wind, but a good sailor discerns where the wind is blowing and adjusts the sails accordingly.
~ John Ortberg
This week I have been working hard on a research project I am undertaking.
I even implemented a new to do list strategy I found. One that is flexible enough to give me options, but focused enough to keep me on high important tasks. Some urgent, most not-urgent.
Today, however, I am sitting at the end of the day only accomplishing items 3, 4 & 5 on my top 6 for the day. There were many other things that I did accomplish, but nothing involving my top two priorities.
Thinking back I see two reasons:
1. rest needed
2. the wind was not blowing
1. Rest Needed
In sailing, most people just want to run fast or get to a new location. Each trip takes lots of preparation to reach the full potential of the adventure. One thing needed is to be fully rested.
Yesterday I had a huge day, basically with my mind engages from 2am to 10pm, with a brief two hour block where I crashed at about 4am. To be less productive today, mentally, is really not that shocking. I still need rest & consumption, not to mention production in all areas of my life.
2. The Wind was not blowing
For people who are not sailors, the normal thought when first reading the John Ortberg’s quotation is that you should do what you can to make the boat move, even if that involves wiggling the tiller, or putting out paddles.
There is stuff for a person to do.
There is resting, preparation, land drills, practice, eating, consumption, repair, etc
I can only help people out of my strength, and to maintain strength in any area of life, I really have to take care of myself completely. That means, I really need to work out. I need to study spiritual materials. I need to catch up with friends. I need to have some entertainment. I need to help people. I need to study.
For a period of time I can really focus on one of those elements, or additional ones, but at some point I do need to go back and hit the others too.
I’m on an amazing voyage, I must do my part … but I do not control the wind.
… Keep Sailing …