I just finished reading “The Endurance, Shackelton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition” by Caroline Alexander.
This is the astonishing account of the 1914 sea voyage that nearly claimed the lives of its entire crew multiple times, but against all odds Shackleton and his men survived 2 1/2 years in the Antarctic.
What struck me the most and the reason I’m writing this post is their relentless pursuit for survival and their “can do” attitude.
The first chapter is appropriately titled, “The Heroic Age” and talks of times when men took on the impossible, smiled in the face of the unknown and took calculated risks to achieve greatness. Despite all odds fear wasn’t something that held them back.
They floated on ice for months, were marooned on the icy wind blown Elephant Island in the middle of nowhere in temperatures as cold as -70 F and winds up to 100 mph. They became sick from an all meat diet and some became frostbitten. They desperately tried to reach civilization in makeshift boats crossing the world’s most perilous ocean…
It’s truly an extraordinary story.
Yet today I hear so many reasons why people can’t do this, and can’t do that. They say they don’t have the knowledge, don’t have the skill, don’t have the time, don’t have the money, don’t have the [insert whatever excuse you like here] to make an attempt to conquer their fears or pursue their dreams.
Too many people are afraid to get up in front of a group of people and teach a karate class despite having the skills. Some of the most seemingly confident and gifted people are too frightened to take the next step to open their own dojo. Some black belts just become so paralyzed by the fear of failure that they quit before they even begin…
It’s an incredulous thought that so many people have so many excuses for undoubtedly far less challenging tasks than Shackleton and his crew faced nearly 100 years ago.
But not you my friend… like Shackleton and his men, you’ll stare the unknown in the eye and take the next step. You’ll conquer your fears and pursue your dreams. And unlike Shackleton you have the tools and resources readily available to make it happen right now.
Ask yourself what’s your next step? What’s the one thing you can do right now to set your ship sailing, and conquer your own ocean?