What Does “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it.” Mean?

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“What does “don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to meet it” mean?” has been appearing in the list of searched terms on my blog quite a lot, recently. It’s the title of my goal-setting book on psychological skills for elite performance. So, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain the phrase more fully, without you having to buy my book to find out.

You may have uttered the phrases ‘someday my numbers will come up’ or ‘someday my ship will come in’. These words are based on the idea that a stroke of luck will change our fortunes. Now wishful thinking is fine but it should be just the start. What often eludes us is knowing exactly where to start to turn things around in our lives. It might be that you feel overwhelmed. It might be procrastination. Whatever it is, you need an action plan. It’s the ‘swimming out to meet your ship’ that alludes to the all-important action. You can trust your life to the fickle hand of fate or rise to the challenge of taking matters into your own hands. The phrase ‘don’t wait for your ship to come in. . . swim out to meet it’ means ‘don’t wait around for fate, identify your goals and take action to achieve them’. This is the essence of life-coaching. After wishful thinking there needs to be planned, purposeful, decisive action.

Book cover: Don't Wait For Your Ship To Come In. . .

Read a sample on Amazon UK or Amazon USA

In the book  I break the phrase down into three stages of goal-achievement:

  1. Don’t Wait. . . represents INSIGHT. . . and the recognition that something needs to change.
  2. Your Ship. . . which acknowledges OWNER-SHIP. . . It’s your ship, your dream, so it’s up to you to do something about it.
  3. Swim Out To Meet It. . . represents ACTION.

The book recognizes that it’s not easy and offers a series of tools and techniques for positive lasting change, based on the underlying principle “It’s your life so take it personally”. So the formula for change is:

Positive Lasting Change = Insight + Ownership + Action

I use this basic principle in my coaching practice where I work with clients through this process, using a strengths-based, solution-focused approach. Recognizing that action takes courage, I’ll begin with the green shoots and nurture them in line with your goals. That’s how we build motivation and confidence.

So that’s it. ‘Don’t Wait For Your Ship To Come In. . . Swim Out To Meet It‘ is basically a challenge, a call to action. You can still believe in destiny, fate or the cosmic order, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t give fate a helping hand. In fact, it’s a must.

If you want to find out more about coaching with me, get in touch for your free telephone/Skype consultation.

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