Learning How to Sail My Ship

By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief

A Google doodle in honor of Louisa May Alcott's 184th birthday in late Nov. 2016 reminded me of one of my all-time favorite quotes: "I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship." Operating a website and managing a brand's digital presence can, of course, be quite challenging. The inherent complexities of technology coupled with the speed of digital innovation and industry development in general is enough to make even the most serene and stable among us periodically freak out from the overload (the fear, uncertainty and doubt of it all).

That Alcott quote, however, can provide some much needed guidance, and it is particularly useful advice as 'Net professionals plan out the coming year in pursuit of a better way to sail their ship in the face of inevitable storms.

Learning how to respond to events (both personal and professional) makes an immense amount of difference to success - you can either become aggravated and paralyzed by the turmoil and stress or be inspired and excited by the possibilities, resigned to the fact that "things" happen but not stopped as a result. The choice, in every way, is each of ours.

Say for example that your website has slowly been losing traffic until one fateful morning, the lights go off and no one is arriving. You can either shut down and call it day, or figure out the best way to proceed. You solve nothing with the first approach and take the steps necessary in the second to eventually gain back what was lost. Again - the manner in which we respond matters and it is our individual choice in every way.

To successfully navigate our own lives (and the problems we will undoubtedly encounter) it is not necessary to conquer fear but channel it for good and the very best way to accomplish that is to learn everything we can and out plan out every possibility.

When we are enthusiastic about solving problems and removing or eliminating challenges as well as excited and thankful for each opportunity - regardless of how terrible certain events and circumstances might seem at the time - we won't feel the frustration and disappointment, angst and worry that is so common with others. Rather, we will be calm in the face of stress and appreciate the distinction between events and feelings we have about those events, and as such will be able to choose the more joyful (and more meaningful) interpretation of those events and be better off for it because we've discovered a better way to sail our ship.

An inspired (and inspirational) life is about choosing your response to events rather than about changing those events. When you're prepared for all the eventualities and resolve to find the good in every bad, you'll be a master of your ship and never fear a storm again.