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You are in control

You are in control

Be thankful for what you have; youll end up having more.”— Oprah Winfrey

Years ago, as many of you already know, I lived on a catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. It was everything one would expect it would be and more. The sea was turquoise blue; warm, glorious weather all year round; unspoiled reefs with an abundance of fish; plenty of lobsters in coral cracks and caves. Pure paradise! But even paradise could be threatened.

That’s right, hurricanes. We tracked all tropical depressions leaving Africa heading our way. You could not afford to be caught unprepared because that meant “bye, bye” boat or even worse, being “lost at sea.” Many yachts “hauled out” when the reports got too bad. They put their boat on dry land and would continue their travel on the mainland. Others would ride the storm out.

My friends and I, who chartered and lived on yachts, had contingency plans for “the big ones.” These plans included several back up plans that would be implemented depending on where we were when we first heard the hurricane alarm. If we were dropping off guests far away from the docks, we faced many dilemmas. Where was the safest place to secure the yacht? Would there be enough space at the docks for our vessel? Did we need to be on the east or west side of the island to avoid the hurricane’s path? If we were in the swamp area, would we have to dive down into the muddy, turbulent water to dig a trench to get the rudders through safely? The list of variables was endless, even with meticulous planning.

Fear always swept rapidly across the islands when the hurricanes hit. It was interesting to observe how people reacted. For the most part people panicked. Gas stations ran dry. Supermarkets and convenience stores were picked clean. The mood around the docks was tense with high activity. Everyone would run around getting extra lines and anchors, taking down mainsails, and waterproofing any possible porthole in preparation. After five years with 8 to 10 strong hurricanes under our belts, we became experts at the drill.

The main lesson I took away from these wild experiences, which has helped me navigate through my day-to-day life ever since, was to not get caught up in the “Fear.” Don’t succumb to the exaggerations, the doom and gloom fearmongering that clouds our society more every day. Every hurricane headed in our direction was reported to be “the worst, biggest, deadliest hurricane ever.” No matter what the forecast was, the total destruction of the island was coming. Yachts were predicted to be tossed around like play toys and people would die. It was always the same hype. Yet the reality was always so different from the preceding tales.

When listening to the media and certain individuals today, you would think the world was coming to an end. Fear is causing people to act out and do things they would not normally do. Don’t let fear and doubts steal your dreams. “You can’t change the circumstances, the season, or the wind, but you can change yourself.” – Darren Hardy

In the coming years, many people will become very successful and many will lose fortunes but not because of one government leader. One person can neither destroy the world nor the USA. Stop listening to the media and the doomsday rhetoric. Focus on executing your plans, your goals, and live your life the very best you can. Be calm, quiet and stay true to your values. You control your life. It’s not who is in power that determines your life. You decide! You have the power! You are the best predictor of your future. After all, we live in the greatest country in the world, where dreams do come true!

Be thankful this season!