Crew Coach: by Capt. Rob Gannon
In the last two issues of The Triton, I wrote about an inner G.P.S system that, if properly used, can really help us navigate life. I covered “G” words and “P” words that can be valuable guiding concepts or principles, and so this month’s final installment is all about the “S” words.
Seeker. Being a seeker of truth, knowledge and wisdom seems like a no-brainer for many, I’m sure, but I also have observed many who avoid it throughout their lives. Living a narrow life with a narrow view may bolster some personal insecurities or fortify some personal opinions, but it’s sort of like missing the boat in life. The ship of life needs to keep sailing and the narrow-minded would rather stand on the pier and let her sail away. They don’t want to know what is out there. It might be dangerous. It might threaten some of those personal opinions. Better to stay small with the illusion of safety, than to venture out on a sea of discovery. True seekers tend to be mentally firing on all cylinders, with a thirst for knowledge that gives life a spark for further inquiry. If we pay attention, we can spot them when we come across them – and we can spot when it’s missing.
Self-discovery/assessment. Besides seeking wisdom from the outside, when one can look within and get to know and feel oneself from the inside, we then create a powerful force that combines the knowledge from without with the knowledge from within. If we are missing one side or the other we can be a bit out of balance. Think of the folks we sometimes come across who have lots of outside information but appear to have little or no feel for what is going on inside. I find they are usually so uncomfortable with the inside, they can barely talk about it. On the other hand, someone who is constantly living within can develop an oversensitivity that can make functioning in society difficult. We need to keep the balance and not be afraid of a good self-assessment. I have personally seen in my work as a coach the value and power in an honest look at the inside. There is great wisdom there. Why would we ignore it? Usually it is fear that makes us uncomfortable about going within, so we stay on the outside where we think we have some control. That fear keeps us from tapping that inner wisdom.
Serving: With all this talk about the self, one may get the impression it all seems kind of “selfish.” Well, I believe there are different kinds of “selfish.” If you only think about yourself to the detriment of others, that’s not a good selfish. But if you focus on improving your “self” to be of better service to this world, that’s a good selfish. Serving others – it’s a cornerstone of all the spiritual teachings through the ages. There are some common themes and threads that run across these teachings, and being of service to others is one of them. Why is that? I believe one big reason is a society, either ancient or modern, can’t survive with only “takers.” That society would disappear from the face of the earth – and some have. The virtue of giving and serving is clear, but also the value of it to a society should not be overlooked. The takers who do not give are the “bad selfish.”
We have just been through a series of natural disasters in the U.S. The givers and the servers step up and can literally save lives. They show clearly the value of serving to the health of a society. The “bad selfish” loot, price gouge and further others’ pain and suffering. The choice of which side to be on should be clear, but desperation from outside events can overrun someone with little connection to the inside.
So there you have it. Let’s just do a quick recap of our inner G.P.S system. Gratitude, growth and being genuine; positive, purpose and being present; and seeking, self-discovery and serving. I truly believe, if we live around those principles, everything will be just fine.
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.