Crew Coach: by Capt. Rob Gannon
In last month’s column, I introduced the concept of an inner GPS that guides us and can really be quite a tool for navigating our lives. The key is entering the right data for this guidance system to work most effectively for us. I wrote about the “G” words, or principles, that are powerful inputs for our inner system. This month we’ll move on to the “P” words.
Positivity: OK, being positive may seem like an obvious choice here, but it’s really kind of essential for the operating system. A positive energy and outlook is not just some happy talk of the day – it truly has a power that affects not only us, but the people we come in contact with as well. Cellular biology research has shown a distinct difference on a cellular level between positive thoughts and beliefs, and negative, stress-causing thoughts and beliefs. Dr. Bruce Lipton is an expert in this field of cellular research and his groundbreaking book, “The Biology of Belief,” is quite an eye-opener. One of the concepts he explains is that we must go beyond “positive thinking” and really operate on positive beliefs. He writes: “The subconscious mind is a million times stronger than the conscious mind, so it will win any battle between the two.” This is why positive beliefs will be more effective than just positive thoughts. We are complex cellular energy systems and we need to feed those cells the right food. Also, I believe most of us would agree that a little more positivity in this world would not be a bad thing.
Purpose: This is an area I have studied and worked on with people in my coaching practice, the importance of a feeling of purpose in our lives. This can be a major driver for the inner GPS. Have you ever observed someone who has lost all sense of purpose, dreams and desire in life? It can be written all over them, right down to body language and overall health and wellness. The candle is barely flickering inside. Pessimism and hopelessness grows into a strong root system. Nothing is firing that light we all have inside us. Decisions made in this state can be disempowering, continuing the downward spiral. Compare that with how we feel when we know we are living with purpose. The inner light is strong, the energy level required is there, and the creative mind is actively involved and running on all cylinders. There can and will be setbacks in our journey, but we carry on because we believe in the path and the mission. Our driving purpose in life can change as we live and grow, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s our sense of purpose that will fuel us as we go. I believe if we feel better, we live better. Having a purpose feels way better than not having one. That alone should be reason enough to get on board the purpose train.
Present: Being present – I mean really fully present – in our daily activities is also important for our inner GPS. This is an era of distraction. A general attention deficit and our shrinking attention spans are on display everywhere. Our guidance system works best when we are clear, focused and calm. It is imperative for us to pay attention to what we’re doing and to what others are communicating to us. If we are not “present,” we may not have accurate data or a clear picture to operate from. Have you ever noticed how long some folks can hang in and really listen? Some can, and it is becoming a valued trait; others seem to have little practice with this skill, and it can impede communication and performance. We know distractions are everywhere, but those who can remain focused and present despite the distractions around them become valuable at work and effective in life. Spiritual writer Ram Das wrote a book called “Be Here Now.” It inspired George Harrison of the Beatles to write a song called “Be Here Now.” Hopefully, more of us can begin to resonate with this and put it to work for ourselves.
Those are the “P” words to feed our inner GPS system. Next month I’ll get into the “S” words to round out our concept. Until then, let’s try our best to be positive, embrace a purpose and stay present. I believe it will serve us well.
Enjoy the Voyage.
Capt. Rob Gannon is a 30-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach (www.yachtcrewcoach.com). Comments are welcome below.