“What we need is not the will to believe but the will to find out.” – Bertrand Russell
It was a cool morning, with fog hanging over the harbor like a shroud. The sailboats looked like silent ghosts – their bare masts reminiscent of guards’ pikes in front of a castle gate. But the sea didn’t need protection, not on a day like this.
I drank my coffee in the calm that accompanied the fog. It seemed even the birds were taking the day off. The only sound was from the soft waves lapping at the pier. No one would be going out today.
The silence was suddenly broken. A diesel engine coming to life.
Off to one side, I could sense movement. Through the mist, I could make out what looked like a lobster boat, slowly chugging along the shore. It appeared that one intrepid crew was going to take the risk and head out. Perhaps there were clearer skies outside the harbor. Or maybe the clouds would be darker.
While I don’t know the people on the boat, I’m betting they were experienced professionals. It wasn’t a pleasure cruise, but a hard day’s work ahead. They had probably checked forecasts and radar readings. However, the only way to know for sure was to leave the safety of the harbor.
We often find ourselves in similar situations. Uncertainty about the conditions – present and future – permeates our thoughts. There’s no clarity about which direction is best. We look around for reassurance, only to see everyone else is standing still. In place of encouragement, there’s only silence.
This isn’t the first time we’ve encountered doubt and hesitation. Goals haven’t always been easy to visualize and the paths to success not clear. Yet we remain anchored. The fear of failure weighs heavily on our mind. We’re unsure if it’s worth the risk to venture out.
We can decide to play it safe – by not playing at all. We won’t get hurt if we remain in our current position. The refuge of the status quo is tempting. With nobody else moving, there’s safety in numbers.
Not moving means abandoning success. We achieve nothing when we do nothing. Goals without action are only daydreams.
We can choose to take a chance. Not running blindly forward without concern. Instead, we gather information, weigh risks and decide on a course. Starting slowly, edging ahead until we can see more clearly. We take note of markers indicating progress, moving towards our objective.
Separating from the comfort of the present isn’t always easy. Often it means leaving others behind as we find our own path. If we’re smart, we’ll ask for help from trusted friends and partners. They can provide support, but we must decide to take the first steps.
We must believe in ourselves. Based on that belief, we can find the will to untie our boats from the moorings. To start moving forward.
To begin our journey and discover what the future may bring.