My journey thus far
Christmas 2013 gave me book about a family voyage to the Caribbean. This was when I became aware that such voyage together with my own family could become my next big thing in life. I’ve already had some small and big objectives in life, and that’s what this post is all about. If I were to categorize my true callings in life, then I would perhaps group them into educational, business and private ones.
Educational objectives: Part of it was just luck, as many other things in my life. The Swiss school system was pretty much straight forward anyway, same chances for everyone. A four-year apprenticeship was followed by a Bachelor’s in Engineering. Later, a Master in Business Administration just seemed to be the logical necessity.
Professional life included two jobs related to industrial plant building business, four years in the first and 15 years in the second. Both jobs allowed me traveling to some beautiful, some vibrant, some exotic and some tough places of this world. Travelling the world sharpened my consciousness for how privileged we are. Job rotations enriched my professional life. I tried always to deliver honest and high quality work and good results. Professional life was great, but it went not without some tough periods. I do appreciate everything because the hardship helped greatly to shape, making me ready to start jumping into future.
Private callings included extensive tour biking from in my youth times, followed by month long car tours to many corners of Europe, North America and Australia. The right woman came into my life and we celebrated an outstandingly nice marriage in our early 30ies. We built a nice nest for ourselves and two wonderful kids. Learning to sail with my wife in my late 30ies somehow evolved in buying an old but fantastic sailing yacht in 2015. To set sails with the family in 2017 obviously is the latest calling.
What did my various callings have in common? A lot! There was always high passion and at same time an urge that kept me in motion. To achieve goals made me happy whilst coming to a stop had something dangerous about it. At times, my mind dictated crazy high standards for me to fulfill, to feel personally responsible for some given situations in business, not to tolerate mistakes, to succeed in meetings where the chances of success were almost nil. Sometimes, this generated a lot of pressure. The good side of this struggles is that they also strengthened me. But while succeeding in the process made me happy, it rarely really satisfied. That fueled me to go further, to improve.
Looking back now, half way through life, many callings have turned into achievements. Putting them in a row makes them looking very focused and straight forward but it wasn’t always like that. The process sometimes felt dead slow. Sometime I felt like an unsuccessful seeker. The sailing trip ahead has changed that completely. All previous doubts have resolved, and I know that they were an important part of the game.
Did I ever plan this sequence of callings? I have to state that it has been a totally unpredictable story. A part of it was blueprinted by how I was brought up. Later on it often happened that one achievement lead to a new target. Some of my best journeys have silently emerged on the basis of what was there, just waiting to be jump-started by minor remark from someone, for example.
My newest calling – to bring myself and my family out and into the world on a sailing yacht – is for sure my most passionate one ever. I deeply feel that we really should do this. It will be the gate to our common future. There is a tremendous respect for the sea and the physical and psychological demands a long sea voyage can make. We will be sailing off extreme areas. However, the potential for hairy sea states is there, that’s for sure. Things could go wrong, as always in life. But I’m as confident to return back home safely, same as one could be for an extended road trip.