Adversity is inevitable as I walk on
the path to my dreams. When adversity pays an unwelcome visit, I modify
my plans, stick to my purpose, and never surrender my dreams. My
strategy for dealing with adversity has six steps.
First, I donít panic. I step back from the problem and regain my
composure. I deal with adversity only after I have a positive state of
Second, I make a limited and orderly retreat. I sacrifice only those
things that are truly expendable. Itís rare that a mistake is so large
that all is lost. A limited and orderly retreat is better than total
Third, I assess the situation. There are always many alternative ways
of responding, and I usually have enough control over the situation that
I can select an acceptable response rather than have a single course of
action dictated by my adversaries.
Fourth, I identify my resources and prepare them for action. My
counterattack is on a scale consistent with my available resources, and
my objective is in the realm of possibility.
Fifth, I act only after everything is in place and ready to go. Once I
am ready, I take enthusiastic, positive, and fearless action.
Sixth, I never quit. No matter what happens, I will not surrender. As
long as I donít quit, adversity and setbacks are only detours on the
road to my dreams.
Copyright © 2013
This is the anchorage at Lizard Island. We spent several days here as
we sailed in the wake of Captain Cook along the Ozzie coast. Here is
the story of Captain Cook and Lizard Island.
Captain Cook almost lost his ship, the Endeavor, as he sailed up the
Australian coast inside the Great Barrier Reef. He was exploring
uncharted waters, and on 10 June, 1770 he ran out of luck when the
Endeavor struck a reef. The reef rose steeply from the seabed and was
undetectable until it was too late. The ship started taking on water and
was in danger of sinking. On the positive side, the Endeavor struck the
reef at high tide, and that meant there was time to deal with the breach
in the hull as the tide went out. Cook's crew lightened ship by
throwing heavy canons and stores overboard, so that when high tide
returned they might be able to float off the reef. They manned their
emergency pumps, and created a type of collision mat to put on the
outside of the hull to stem the leak. They ran out kedge anchors, and
worked furiously to prepare to refloat Endeavor at high tide. All of
the work paid off, because eventually they kedged off the reef and their
temporary hull patch controlled the flow of water so they did not sink.
After they escaped from the reef, they sailed north to the mouth of a
large river where they careened their ship and made repairs. It turned
out that in spite of their bad luck, good fortune had smiled on the
Endeavor because a large fist sized piece of coral had penetrated the
hull and lodged in the hole, sealing the breach to a significant
degree. If the coral hadn't lodged in the hull, it 's likely the
Endeavor would have sunk.
After completing repairs, Cook sailed north searching for an opening
that would let him navigate eastward through reef strewn waters and
back into the Coral Sea. Unfortunately, Cook didnít know how far north
the Great Barrier Reef extended since he was voyaging in uncharted
waters. It turned out that the reef is nearly 1200 miles long. In
addition, ships like the Endeavor did not sail well to windward, and to
escape, Captain Cook needed to sail against the prevailing trade winds.
As he continued north along the Ozzie coast, he finally came to Lizard
Island which turned out to be his salvation. Lizard has a good
anchorage, and best of all, it's high enough to give an excellent view
of the reef for miles in all directions. He spent a couple of hours
climbing to the top of Lizard, and when he surveyed the reef to the
east, to his great relief, he found a break in the reef through which he
could safely take his ship. All he had to do was wait for good weather
and a favorable wind, and he would escape the clutches of the Great
When you climb
to the top of the island today, a monument points your eyes in the
direction of Cookís passage through the reef. Take your binoculars to
the top of the hill in the afternoon, and with the sun to your back, you
will easily see Cook's escape route. If you want to sail in the wake of
Captain Cook, just sail through the break in the reef as you head out
into the Coral Sea on your own voyage of discovery.
Sailing in the
wake of explorers like Captain Cook encourages me to live my dreams.
Captain Cook had no end to adversity in his life, but he always did what
the had to do as he sailed on the ocean of his dreams.
You and I are just like Captain Cook. If we are going to live our
dreams, there will be no end to adversity in our lives. We may as well
expect it and get used to it. There's a hundred percent chance that we
are going to hit a few reefs, and we will need to make emergency repairs
more than once as we navigate through our life. But that's ok. After
all, we are on a voyage of discovery, and we are sailing in uncharted
waters. If we live as if our dreams are possible and work each day to
make them happen, we will find an opening in our barrier reefs, and
before long, we will be sailing downwind on the ocean of our dreams.