Life Coach Magazine

Life is Like a Cruise Ship: Why Patience is a Virtue!

By Rohan @rohanforsale

Please take one

Please take one

I’ve noticed something interesting in my own behavior over the years and in the behavior of others. That is that when we make a positive life change, a proactive decision or an affirmative action we sometimes expect immediate results. Let’s say that I decide to start working out with the objective of becoming highly physically fit as well as achieving the body of a men’s magazine cover model. Now obviously I wouldn’t expect to look like Ronaldo after my first gym session, and yet so often in life we heap similarly ridiculous expectations upon ourselves with regard to positive life changes. Let me explain.

The 5 Year Plan

Where you find yourself right now in terms of your relationships, your levels of physical and emotional health, your career, your wealth, reputation and so on is the sum total of every moment leading up to the present one! And in particular, where you are right now, is the result of the last five years of your life. Your current position is due to the decisions you made, the thoughts, opinions and beliefs you harbored, the way others have treated you and the circumstances that were thrust upon you by outside forces, both good and bad, over the past five years. Take a second to think back over the past five years of your life and see how it all leads up to right now.

The Mistake

The mistake we make is that when we decide to make a change, even a big one, we expect to see the results right away. Let’s say we start working on our thought processes with affirmations, or we start working on our traumas and trapped energy issues with focusing and embodiment exercises, or we work on our levels of stress and anxiety through meditation, visualization and relaxation. We might experienced some immediate results, however only with time (sometimes years!) will we gain the satisfying, long term, embedded life changes.

The same goes for relationship choices. Choosing to leave an incompatible or abusive partner, dump toxic friends or even avoid dangerous family members can be very positive (though hard) major life changes. Again though, only after an extended period of enforcing boundaries, healing and reflection will we begin to reap the rewards of our hard work. Often in the case of relationships, the pain of ending the contact will be enough to send the person back seeking the same, or similar situations.

The Cruise Ship

When a large ship like an ocean liner or cargo ship needs to change course in a major way it takes time. First of all the engines need to be cut in order to stop heading further in the wrong direction. Once the ship has slowed sufficiently it can begin to turn. This process takes time as well. When the ship has realigned itself with it’s new destination then the engines can be reengaged at full power. And the more severe the change in direction, the longer it takes. If the ship only needs to readjust 20 degrees, it can be done without slowing down too much at all. If however, the ship needs to turn 90, or even 180 degrees, then it’s going to take a long while!

And so it is with people. When we come to the – often terrifying – realization that we’re heading in a direction that we really don’t want to go – doing work we don’t want to do, with people we don’t want to be with – it can be very scary. And when we do find the courage to make a big positive change (leave the unsatisfying job/partner/location etc) we can feel lost, confused and even more scared as we wonder “why isn’t everything better now?!” Always think of the cruise ship. Where we are right now has all the force and momentum of the last 5 years behind it, and ultimately our whole lives before that! We can’t expect to suddenly stop, turn and move ahead into our new life in an instant. It takes time.

5 Year Blocks

I like to think of things in terms of 5 year blocks. When you make a big positive change, or a number of them in a short space of time, it’s going to take a full five years to feel all of the ramifications of those decisions. It is important that we remind ourselves of this often. Sometimes I’ll get down on myself wondering “why aren’t I exactly where I want to be in my life right now?! I’m doing all the right things!”, I then take a moment to remind myself that “you’re not going to see the results of some of the actions you are taking for years! Be patient, enjoy the process. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.”

There is always a delay between an action, a though or an intention, and it’s corresponding reaction from the universe, or outside world. Pinch someone’s arm and you’ll get a very swift reaction of pain and most likely indignation. Change course in your relationships, work, hobbies, spirituality or way of life and expect it to take a while to see the results. It may take only a moment to make a decision in yourself, however it can take much longer for the rest of the world to catch up!

Take Your Time

I’ve had great success always keeping in mind the 5 year blocks. For example this year, 2013 is year number 2 of my own personal 5 year plan. At the end of 2011 I made a number of big life changes and decided to pursue my authentic path. In 2012 I quit smoking, started blogging, started writing books with a passion, met new people, healed my trauma and took up photography. In 2013 I simply boosted everything that was already going well and continued removing those things that weren’t. Now I’m moving into a new place and forging ahead. I look forward to seeing what my life looks like at the end of my five year plan in 2017. I wonder what will be the result of 5 years of concerted healing and authenticity!

Good Luck!

Always keep in mind the image of the cruise ship and the five year blocks when you are worried about your progress through life and the choices you’ve made. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your new life be after you make a big decision or take drastic positive actions!

Good luck everyone, here’s to our five year plans!

Thanks for reading, all the best



Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog