The attitudes of each of us fills the collective soul of yachting

Aug 18, 2015 by Rob Gannon

The word soul and the concept of a soul can conjure up many meanings and thoughts, depending on where you’re coming from with it. Certainly, all the religious and spiritual teachings have definitions. But without adopting any particular one, let’s just say for this writing it is the essence or energy separate from the physical body of a human or society or industry.

So how does the energy, the essence of the yachting industry, feel to you these days? On the surface it can appear glitzy and egocentric, kind of like materialism on steroids. But let’s go deeper than the surface. Let’s go to the soul.

Soul can be discussed in terms of each individual or in terms of the collective, the feeling or energy from a group of people. They are interconnected. The sum of the individual souls will be reflected in the collective. In other words, if the majority of individual energies are positive and filled with good intent, the overall collective soul or essence should reflect that. It will also reflect the negative individual energies.

As we all know, energy is a powerful thing. Energies outside of us in nature can be a quick and dramatic reminder. Look at the energy in a hurricane or a bolt of lightning, dramatic forces of energy on the planet.

Individuals, humans, have an energy field, too, and it can be quite powerful. It can also be transferred, passed back and forth between us. The soul, the essence of a human, is beyond the energy, beyond the vibe of a person, but it often gets defined by the energy. The way a person acts and treats others becomes a reflection on their soul.

People get accused of having no soul or of being a poor soul. Neither are really accurate but this is how we see it sometimes in our physical world. We just get a feeling about a person’s soul.

So then all these individual souls can create the collective soul. Let’s look at the possibility of a trickle-down effect in the soul in yachting. Let’s start at the top with owners. Some may be distant and not have much of a relationship with crew, but some do. Some you get to know fairly well. Think about how they treat people, from the captain down to the newest, greenest crew. Then, in turn, think about how the captain treats the crew and how the crew treat each other.

How many appear to be good souls? Are there many troubled, conflicted souls? This collection of souls starts to make up the soul of the industry. A tone is set and each individual can sense it. Each of us interprets it in his or her own way. This is an individual assessment that certainly is affected by experiences. These experiences then lead to thoughts where one individual may feel the collective soul is healthy and good while another may think it’s rotten to the core.

Do you experience good and decent people who understand service and working as a team? Or do you work with self-centered, ego-driven, superficial people with no sign of soul? I imagine it’s both but I really hope it’s more of the former.

When reading yachting blogs and forums, even publications, you read about unprofessional behavior from owners right on down to young crew. Then you also come across heartwarming stories of folks really looking out for one another. What we are all taking in and hearing about this industry can certainly affect how we view its soul.

I welcome personal experiences anyone would care to share. Actually I would like for everyone to read some positive stories and experiences of human interaction in yachting. Please share them; I know there are a lot of good people doing good things for one another. Has anyone in the industry blown you away with their generosity or kindness? Do you know some really good souls in this industry? Please, let others know about them.

All of us in and around this industry can influence the soul of yachting. Will it be dominated by the superficial and egocentric, or will it be driven by a strong core of solid, caring, good souls with the power to shape its future and its future soul. Enjoy the voyage.


Rob Gannon is a 25-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach. He offers free sample coaching sessions and can be reached at +1 772-486-5136 or Comments are welcome at