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Old 27-06-2009, 18:54   #1
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Negativity and the Cruising Sailor

Sailing around the world is easy. Anyone can do it one day at a time.

Staying positive is the hard part.

Negativity is an unfailing and unwanted companion that eternally invites you to abandon your dreams. Negative thinking sinks most sailing dreams before they even get started.

There are optimists, pessimists, and realists. I'm not sure where I fall in this group, but I'm absolutely sure that sailing around the world on your own yacht is worth it. At least it was worth it for me.

I wrote a small piece about negative thinking and the cruising sailor. Check it out.

Listen to the Sound of Your Dreams

Is negative thinking a problem for you, and has it kept you from sailing on the ocean of your dreams? What do you do to stay positive in the face of opposition and adversity?
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:04   #2
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Great post - as we are about to leave Grenada for Trinidad and pirate infested waters, plus a country filled with murderous thieves, we will work hard at also keeping their ally, NEGATIVITY, at bay.
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:18   #3
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I remind myself life is a rollercoaster, try to enjoy the uphill climbs in anticipation of the downhill rush. Anyone asks me how's it going I reply "just another wonderful day in paradise". Usually elicits a smile.
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:33   #4
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Great post - as we are about to leave Grenada for Trinidad and pirate infested waters, plus a country filled with murderous thieves, we will work hard at also keeping their ally, NEGATIVITY, at bay.
Some destinations are more work than others when it comes to maintaining a positive attitude.

We loved Trinidad, and Carnival was probably my wife's favorite event on the entire circumnavigation. That being said, Trinidad was one of the most dangerous places that we visited at the time we were there. You have to think about what you are doing and be careful to avoid things that put you in harms way. Walking around at night downtown is asking for trouble.

We used Jesse James and his taxi service to have a safe time in Trinidad. He was a great insurance policy for having a safe adventure during Carnival. While we were there, several yachts were robbed in the anchorage at Chagaramas, and soon after we left, one of our friends was robbed at gunpoint in a Maxitaxi. In spite of the robbery, they remained in Trinidad and cruised in Venezuela.

Here in Phoenix, you also have to be careful about where you go and avoid things that can put your in harms way. A 70 year old cafeteria worker at our hospital was shot and killed in a road rage incident recently. She was riding home from church as a passenger in a car, and someone rear-ended her car, and then proceeded to shoot her and wound her grand-daughter.

No matter where you are, it can be a challenge to remain positive.
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:34   #5
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Wow great article,
keeping positive can be tough, for me faith plays a big role, along with a "black list" of neg thoughts. I do have a sense of destiny, and that helps too. I, like many here, would like to sail around the world. Maybe I will. One of my favorite quotes is "In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail". I don't know what the future holds, I know I am not meant to be a landlubber. I'm drawn to the sea for a reason, why fight it

Erika
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:39   #6
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I remind myself life is a rollercoaster, try to enjoy the uphill climbs in anticipation of the downhill rush. Anyone asks me how's it going I reply "just another wonderful day in paradise". Usually elicits a smile.
Well said.

It's not so much about where you are that counts. It's where you are going that's really important. I try to say things that take me where I want to go. "Another day in paradise" sounds like a great destination to me.
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Old 28-06-2009, 11:54   #7
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Wow great article,
keeping positive can be tough, for me faith plays a big role, along with a "black list" of neg thoughts. I do have a sense of destiny, and that helps too. I, like many here, would like to sail around the world. Maybe I will. One of my favorite quotes is "In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail". I don't know what the future holds, I know I am not meant to be a landlubber. I'm drawn to the sea for a reason, why fight it

Erika
It's interesting to see different approaches to dealing with adversity and maintaining a postiive attitude. The gospel of positive thinking seems big in America, but is much less in evidence in other places around the world. I don't think I ever discussed positive thinking with Saudis in my sixteen years of work in Saudi Arabia. In the orient I met many positive folks who didn't talk about it much, but they were very positive individuals.

In other cultures, the emphasis may be more on mental toughness mixed with a healthy dose of acceptance and compassion toward themselves and others that keeps people in a positive frame of mind.

For me, it's pretty simple. Positive thinking is the natural software for my mind, and when I am positive, my mind is working the way it was designed to function. I try to stay positive so that I can do what I want to do and be what I want to be without a lot of self-destructive negativity making my life harder than it needs to be.
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Old 28-06-2009, 14:10   #8
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Maxingout, I've really appreciated your philosophy.
How much did it develop during your 11 year cruise?
Seems like 16 yrs in Saudi may have created a lot of cultural flexibility, tolerance, curiosity with you and that also seems like an essential ingredient in successful, happy cruising.
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Old 28-06-2009, 17:20   #9
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Maxingout, I've really appreciated your philosophy.
How much did it develop during your 11 year cruise?
Seems like 16 yrs in Saudi may have created a lot of cultural flexibility, tolerance, curiosity with you and that also seems like an essential ingredient in successful, happy cruising.
One of the things I liked about Arabia was that I lived in a parallel universe where I had lots of freedom. The rules of my American culture did not reach across the ocean to control my life, and the rules affecting Saudis did not apply as well. I was between two cultures, and as long as I kept my nose out of trouble, I was free to do whatever I wanted. If I did my work in a professional manner, nobody cared what I did or where I went when I was off duty. Living in the parallel universe was an extremely liberating experience, and I have not recovered from it to this day. Although my body is in Phoenix, I am still living in the parallel universe. I am somewhere other than here.

When I was young I was capable of experiencing culture shock while travelling overseas. After living overseas for 28 years, I am a cultural chameleon, and I can fit in wherever I go without distress. My biggest problem is that I have come back to a country where my fit is rough around the edges. I am a visitor in my country of birth.

The biggest problem I experience is mutuality. Although, I am comfortable anywhere I am, I find it difficult to connect with other people unless they also are a hard core expatriate living overseas for an extended period. Most people are disinterested in the expatriate lifestyle, and they cannot relate to it at any level for longer than thirty uncomfortable seconds.

The long term expatriate life style tends to create people of independent mind. They see that there are dozens of different ways of doing the same thing, and it's rare that any of the ways are clearly superior. Living in the parallel universe, you get to pick and choose the way that works best for you from the smorgasboard of life. It's a great way to live. You shed much of your own culture, adopt the best in other cultures, and then you wing it.

To answer your question - My ideas come from sampling the smorgasboard of life while living in the parallel universe and making choices that are meaningful to me.
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Old 28-06-2009, 18:57   #10
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Hi Dave,
Wonderful article. I love the part about negativity being the dream stealer.
I was blessed with two very positive parents when I was growing up, both whom had the constant mantra, "Don't let someone else do your thinking for you." "Can't died in the cornfield." don't ask me what the last one meant, that was one of my Father's more colorful sayings, which to me meant never say can't. Last and certainly not least, "You can find an excuse to not do, or do anything.". Both of my parents filled all of us kids heads with positive affirmations while growing up, and independent thinking for ourselves. I am richly blessed. I like many of the others here in this forum have heard all of the different nay sayers out there telling us why it is a bad idea to do something. My response is "Don't saddle me with your limitations." My mantra is "You are a powerful, beautiful, spiritual being and you can do anything." I don't ignore the realities of life, I do look at how I can learn from them, or how I can use my imagination to over come difficulties. Anyway good on you, and thanks for posting this thread.
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Old 28-06-2009, 19:09   #11
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Hi Dave,
Wonderful article. I love the part about negativity being the dream stealer.
I was blessed with two very positive parents when I was growing up, both whom had the constant mantra, "Don't let someone else do your thinking for you." "Can't died in the cornfield." don't ask me what the last one meant, that was one of my Father's more colorful sayings, which to me meant never say can't. Last and certainly not least, "You can find an excuse to not do, or do anything.". Both of my parents filled all of us kids heads with positive affirmations while growing up, and independent thinking for ourselves. I am richly blessed. I like many of the others here in this forum have heard all of the different nay sayers out there telling us why it is a bad idea to do something. My response is "Don't saddle me with your limitations." My mantra is "You are a powerful, beautiful, spiritual being and you can do anything." I don't ignore the realities of life, I do look at how I can learn from them, or how I can use my imagination to over come difficulties. Anyway good on you, and thanks for posting this thread.
You've got lots of good quotes there to put in my memory banks!

Positive parents are about the biggest blessing that you can have. They give you a headstart in life.

Positive role models live for three lifetimes. Their own lives are positive, their children's lives will probably be positive, and their grandchildren will also feel their positive influence.

I reckon that the most important thing I do in my entire life is raise my children and fill their mind with positive things. They are my legacy. If my children grow up to love themselves, have a positive attitude, and they are still my best friend, then I rate my life as a success.

You are fortunate to have had positive parents.
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Old 28-06-2009, 19:17   #12
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Having had a spritual awakening........practice these prociples in ALL our affairs.

Those of you that know where this comes from know what I am talking about.

Negative people....sorry I don't have time for you or your "Perfect Storm of Misery"
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Old 28-06-2009, 19:20   #13
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Thanks for the great posts. Good stuff!
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Old 28-06-2009, 19:30   #14
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Having had a spritual awakening........practice these prociples in ALL our affairs.

Those of you that know where this comes from know what I am talking about.

Negative people....sorry I don't have time for you or your "Perfect Storm of Misery"
One of the sad things about negative people is that it is hard to help them in their "Perfect Storm of Misery". If you spend too much time with them, they suck you into their black hole.

In medical school, they told us that people with psychological problems won't get better until they want to get better and believe they can get better. I think that's one of the problems in dealing with negative folks. If they are "happy" the way they are, and they don't want to get better or don't believe they can get better, then it's a good idea to stay away from them. They will only drag you down.
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Old 28-06-2009, 20:24   #15
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Hi Dave…. Great article!

I am not sure if I am being the “Devils Advocate” in my reply, or just looking at it thru reflective eyes.

As a lifelong sailor and cruiser, living in mostly 3rd world places I view myself as a “professional pessimist”, always reviewing worst case scenarios knowing there is limited support in my chosen areas!

Before a passage, my dreams are a litany of items to be checked and nightmare scenarios to be analyzed. Ironically, this seems to have provided me with the courage to actually go and whenever tested I automatically know how to relieve the stress in others, so they can perform better.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time and can enjoy the little things, but there is a large slice of me that never looses control or just assumes that everything is safe and to be honest, I credit that to my negativity.

Perhaps we are the same but early experiences as a young boy confirmed my desire for freedom at any cost.

For those who remember the opening scene in Slumdog Millionaire where the young boy escapes from an outhouse, I made that same choice to get out and I think at an early age came to realize that “sh*t happens”
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