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The Cruise Ship & The Sailboat

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series Every Single Day

Which is more powerful? Which uses more power? Who are you?

They are analogies as personality types or energy sources within us. We’re either The Cruise Ship or The Sailboat. Let’s have a quick look at both types.

This is part of the Every Single Day series where we’re looking at elements of the methodology that takes from a calendar day to a change in mindset. In this particular chapter, we learn how to go from being The Cruise Ship to arriving at the goal: The Sailboat.

The Cruise Ship

Massive. Power. Massive power. It can transport 5,000+ people and just seems to glide though the roughest of seas. It’s a floating fortress, a city on the water, it’s magnificent.

The engine room is a churning, burning center of hot energy. It’s constantly pushing out the force to propel the vessel forward but it also has an insatiable need for more and more energy to burn. It’s loud in the engine room, it’s dirty and everyone in there is wearing earplugs and covered in soot (in the old-days version I have in my mind). It’s impressive, powerful and daunting.

Massive power forward, but it comes at a cost.

Turning is difficult and slow. In fact, stick to that course you’re on and try not to diverge too much because it takes such effort to make a shift. That said, if you’re powering forward, it’s going to be difficult to stop you. I just hope you’re going the right way.

When things break down, there’s not much to do other than try to fix all of the complicated parts that makes up the engines and the rotors and the propellers. It’s also possible that you occasionally run out of gas. You can replenish the tanks, but it can be draining, time consuming or possibly even prohibitively expensive (whether financially or otherwise). In order to prevent things from breaking down, you usually just want to keep the ship afloat and churning at all costs.

The Sailboat

The sailboat glides through the water like a fish. More like it belongs in the water and it’s at home and moving almost with the water, as if it’s going downstream, as if the entire ocean is streaming in the direction the sailboat is going.

Not only does the propulsion of this vessel through the water effortless, it could even gather more power. Because the force that is driving the motion is not your own, we could harness even more power through wind turbines or even water intake. Because this energy is coming from somewhere other than ourselves, we only need to guide it in the direction we want to go, make sure the sails are properly aligned to gather the most efficient and effective gusts of wind and sit back and decide where to go next.

Agile and natural, it can be more powerful than any engine.

If, however, there is little or no wind, you’re not really going anywhere. There’s that little outboard backup motor, but it’s mostly for emergencies and putting around while you’re waiting for the source energy (the wind) to pull you forward once again.

It picks up and all you need to do is guide the path forward. Adjust the sails, the smaller ones, the larger ones, the ropes and pulleys. It’s more that you’re holding on and going with it, you’re using power that is not yours, that is larger than yourself and you are just along for the ride.

It can become effortless once you get the handle of it and understand it–or at least accept that this is so. You can also try to fight it, to go against it and you might have some successes, but in the end, you will succumb. But the wind wants to go the same direction as you’re going, it wants to take you that way. It’s the way you’re supposed to go anyway, so surrender and let it take you.


Do you resonate clearly with one or the other? In the upcoming book, Every Single Day, we’ll go through how although the beginning might seem like pushing that huge ship and powering that massive engine, it is possible to transform into the agile and even more powerful sailboat. We’ll also cover:

  • Don’t we need to work hard (and harder!) to get more and more done? (HINT: Uh, no.)
  • If we’re just steering this damn sailboat, how are “we” getting anything done? Won’t “we” be left behind?
  • Who’s powering this sailboat anyway?

All excellent questions and all will be revealed. Until this, keep churning or keep steering, depending on which ship you’re running these days.

  • Possible: motor
  • Impossible: row (upstream)
  • Repossible: sail
Series Navigation<< The $20,335 Recurring Passive Income PostWhat if you had one decision less to make Every Single Day? >>
By | 2017-07-19T20:06:55+00:00 November 15th, 2016|Change, Perserverance|4 Comments

About the Author:

Bradley Charbonneau was sitting with his 8-year old reading a bad children’s book when he said to his son, “We can do better than this … and you’re going to help me.” Then they did it. He hasn’t stopped since.

4 Comments

  1. Writing Every Day Beyond 1,000 Posts November 17, 2016 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    […] The Cruise Ship & The Sailboat (Nov 15) […]

  2. Hermann Baltes November 18, 2016 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    That´s it! It made me think of my energy, of my wasted energy. Of my neglecting the endless energy which is not mine. Though, it is the only energy getting me in the right direction. There is no better guide. Merci Bradley.

    • Bradley November 18, 2016 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      It’s a whole lot easier to paddle a canoe downstream than upstream, too. If I’m going to stick with the water vessel analogies! Thanks for the note, Hermann.

  3. […] The Cruise Ship & The Sailboat […]

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