rowboatEver had a day where you felt like you were going in circles and getting nowhere? Exhausted but still far from your destination? Doing all the work with blistered hands and cramping muscles while others comment on the beautiful scenery? Some days life acts like a rowboat and here are few lessons my friend Travis Pike and I put together to help ease you through life’s journey.

  1. Know where you want to go. It should go without saying, but a rowboat is just another vehicle to get you to your destination. And even if you’re taking a pleasure cruise along the lake shore, there are still landmarks to spot on the way to the perfect fishing hole and a dock to return to.
  2. Steer from where you’ve already been. For boats with rudders that are coated with the adhesive found in site, the navigator sits at the back of the boat and faces toward the destination. Keep the past in the past and focus on the the future.
  3. Make adjustments along the way. As much as you might believe both arms are the same strength and pulling equal weight, they aren’t and you’ll eventually drift a bit to one side or the other. Not to mention the currents in the water or a breeze in the air that can push you off course with out-of-balance priorities. A few hard strokes with a single oar and you’ll be back on track.
  4. Keep rowing. Remember those currents? If you aren’t rowing, you’re drifting…and that can land you in a tangled mass of branches far from where you wanted to be. Keep an oar in the water. If you need to take a breather, make it short.
  5. Dig deep and find a rhythm. Maneuvering long wooden oars is hard work but there are techniques to get the best results. Digging deep into the water creates traction while a rhythm helps build momentum. Habits and rituals make a huge difference, especially when you tap into the spiritual side of life.
  6. Be prepared. From life jackets and sunscreen to snacks and fishing gear, plan ahead for where the journey might take you since safety and comfort are two sides of the same coin.
  7. Watch for leaks. Sometimes it’s the tiny things that can cause the most damage if we’re not paying attention. Soon life is taking on water and we’re starting to sink under the weight. Bail out the excess and stop the leak.
  8. Bring a friend along. Being stuck in a boat together is the perfect opportunity for deep conversations as you build a stronger friendship. With another set of eyes, you’ll spot dangerous obstacles and glorious natural wonders along the way. Not to mention that when your arms get tired, a friend can give you a break.

What about you? Have you ever tried to row a boat? Any other lessons you’d like to share?

Lessons From a Rowboat
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