Life-Long Lessons Learned From Sailing

4 Sailing boats in action

The lessons learned on the water in a sailboat are life-changing for everyone, regardless of their age. A whole new world of possibilities and skills opens up when you learn to sail. Self-discovery is the biggest life lesson a person takes away from sailing. It broadens your perspectives, particularly as an adult, beyond the number of ideals that have been used to describe your abilities and value and instils a mentality that previously did not exist: “I want to try, even if I fail.”

Here’s a list we have put together of lessons that combine skills of life at sea with our daily lives:

1. You Can’t Control the wind but you can adjust your sails

Sailing boats in action in the Arabian sea

Sailing teaches and prepares people to make decisions in real-time. When confronted with shifting courses of other vessels and wind changes, a  sailor must make quick decisions in order to safely navigate the boat, with little time to think about it. You will not avoid facing events that need you to make fast or definitive decisions while sailing. The ability to navigate in the best way possible during a challenge is a principle that applies both in our daily lives and life at sea.

2. Sailing Close to the Wind

Often one hears that there is huge learning in a challenge. Beating against the wind illustrates this perfectly. Wondering how?

 When you wish to get from one Point A to Point B, in a sailboat and find that the wind is directly against you (blowing from B to A), you could simply give up, change the course or destination OR you could take the wind head-on and sail into the wind. Effectively it is the power of the wind that takes you where you want, though you need to work hard to tighten your sails and sail into the wind. Without this wind, you could perhaps never have got to your destination. The course you take will require you to zig-zag but you get there and you get there with a sense of exhilaration as you tighten your sails and sail the boat hard, always keeping your goal in mind.

This is a powerful lesson for life – challenges become the stepping stone to success if you harness the power it. And of course, if you have a goal and the ability to navigate with focus.

Breaking the norm may seem risky but a tiring yet exhilarating endeavor that can either reward you with unrivaled success or leave you red-faced in a sea of bad choices. Following the other boats is the best choice on the water, and breaking away and carving one’s own course is always seen as too dangerous by most. This high-risk, high reward situation is exactly what you will face in business, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It may be prudent to play it safe at times, but it may be foolish to give up such a promising opportunity at other times. It all depends on your own situation, but if possible, have the confidence to go for it. Failure and success are inextricably linked, so don’t be put off by the prospect of failing.

3. A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilled Sailor

Sail boat tilting with people on board

Every sailor knows that.

While working as a team is an important aspect of sailing, sailing camps, and sailing lessons provide opportunities for solo sailing. It may take some time to get it right, as with any new skill. As new skills are added, there will be a learning curve. However, as these abilities develop, you will be able to sail and steer your own boat. The realization that you can learn something completely new through trial and error and with supported coaching lays the groundwork for self-reliance.

5. The Path is Never Linear Sailing Forward

Sailing in Bombay in the evening

One of the first things you understand about sailing is that getting from one mark to the next in a straight line is not always possible. If your desired endpoint is upwind, you must navigate to a different point for a period of time before returning to your original destination—this maneuver is known as a tack.

In both business and personal life, there are similarities to be drawn.

Ex: If you know where you wish to go you must be ready to take turns and twists and you will ultimately get there.  It’s a remarkable occurrence when one’s objectives are simple to achieve and follow in a straight line.

6. To Reach A Port, We Must Set Sail

The journey doesn’t end at the end of a race or even a fun sail — whether you’re a competitive or casual sailor, you’re still looking to improve yourself, prove yourself to others, and set an example for others. Sailing teaches you how to be a better person by teaching you how to grow, negotiate, provide, and search out new opportunities wherever they may be.

Sailing teaches you that there are always dangers and storms on the horizon. These should not be avoided, but rather accepted as part of the journey just like the challenges presented to us in our daily lives. You will realize that it’s the storms that will shape you into the person you really want to be.

Get in contact with Aquasail and broaden your horizons today!

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