The Triton


In a rut? Grow by learning new skills, improving existing ones


Do you feel like you’re in a rut or bored with your work? We probably all have at one point in our lives. What can pull us out of the hum-drum, repetitive daily tasks that seem to define our work days? Through my experience and research, I suggest stretching the brain pathways by learning a skill or improving an existing one.

We humans are at our best, our most fully functioning, when we do what we love and challenge ourselves to get better. To refine and master our craft is surely a noble and worthwhile endeavor. It also feels good and gives us an underlying purpose to our daily routines. This mastering of our craft is not just for the creative fields such as artists, writers, actors and musicians. It really can pertain to any field. Let’s just pick a field; let’s see… how about working on a yacht?

At times crew members may feel like they are just performing mundane entry level tasks. Cleaning, shining, organizing, cleaning heads and making beds can sometimes seem elementary but is it really? To perform these tasks and to do them really well, takes mastery. Any experienced crew can tell the difference between someone going through the motions and someone good at what they do. Hopefully we are a lot better at what we do as compared to when we started.

Now, after a few years in, we may feel pretty good about our skills but the hum drum is creeping in. There could still be room for improvement but if you feel unchallenged and at the top of your game; it may be time to change the game.

Sometimes we can stay in our chosen industry but focus on a new area. I’ve spoken with captains and crew who have moved into engineering. There’s a new world for you. If you’ve been onboard for some time, you see what they do and if it grabs your interest, maybe look into it. From what I hear about the training, your mind will have no room for boredom. Lots of new info will be incoming.

Maybe the chef’s hat might be of interest. Perhaps you have always had an interest and a talent for cooking and food presentation. Once again, with this learning and training you will not be bored; challenged, excited, and exhausted perhaps but not bored. Like engineering, cooking is a skill that you can take outside yachting and down a variety of avenues.

Sometimes we can feel underutilized at work. We may feel our skills are not being tapped or our voices are never heard. This can be frustrating and lead to apathetic feelings and low morale. No one wants to feel unheard and unskilled when they know they have something of value to say and skills not being exercised. Sometimes we have to speak up. Does your captain or department leader know of your skills? Say you are a wiz with electronic devices. Does anybody know this? Put that out there. Maybe you’re on a charter with kids. Does anyone know you were a camp counselor for a few summers? It’s good to put our other skills out there. Not in a bragging or self-centered way, but because it could help and it feels good to use them.

We can move upward and laterally in our careers and we usually do that with a continued interest in learning and improving. I don’t care what it is. You could work in a tollbooth and continue to learn and do it to the best of your abilities. In fact, have you ever noticed some tollbooth attendants are better than others? I have. I’ve driven away thinking, wow, that person had a great attitude. You also know the miserable ones when you come across them.

If someone can stay upbeat and interested in a tollbooth, we can surely do the same working on a big shiny yacht. Keep the mind engaged.

Challenge yourself to get better and learn. Read and research new areas of interest. It will drive out the dullness of routine and get your juices flowing, I promise you. We have never had so much information at our fingertips. Go ahead, dive in and swim around.

Enjoy the voyage.


Capt. Rob Gannon is a 30-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach. Contact him through at


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