Change finally happens when you are ready to change.
Change takes a long time because you take so much time getting ready.
Although change occurs in an instant, getting ready for that instant may require years.
When I review the course of my life, I am amazed at how long it took to get ready for change.
Two enduring passions have dominated my adult life, and yet both of them took more than twenty years to develop to the point that I was ready for change to happen.
When I was twenty years old, I knew I wanted to sail around the world on a sailboat, and I knew I wanted to help people improve their lives through the power of of positive thinking.
Captain Joshua Slocum was the first man to sail around the world alone in a small sailboat. His boat was less than forty feet long, and he built it himself.
Slocum's achievement captivated the sailing world, and slowly over the next one hundred years, people began single-handed voyages across oceans and around the world. A small trickle of adventurers started to sail in his wake.
Many of these sailors built their own boats, and most of them had no prior sailing experience before they started their voyage.
Robin Lee Graham was one of the adventurers who sailed in the wake of Joshua Slocum.
Graham was only sixteen years old when he started his single-handed circumnavigation. He sailed a boat named Dove which was only twenty-six feet long. It was a very small boat on a very large ocean.
At the time of his voyage, navigation was by the sun, moon, and stars because satellite navigation was unavailable.
National Geographic Magazine published his adventures in a series of articles that captivated my imagination.
After reading his story, I decided that one day I would sail around the world on my own sailboat. At that time, I didn't know anything about sailboats, I had never set foot on a sailboat, and I didn't know how to sail. Nevertheless, I discovered a passion that would dominate the rest of my life.
After I graduated from medical school, I decided to do my internship at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone. Panama was the perfect place to learn how to sail and to meet world cruisers. The Panama Canal was the crossroads that joined the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Sailors who transited the Panama Canal usually stopped at the Balboa Yach Club to provision their sailboats before heading across the Pacific.
I purchased a twenty-two foot sailboat and joined the Balboa Yacht Club. Whenever I went down to the yacht club, I met people who were sailing around the world on their own small yachts. People from dozens of countries cruised on yachts of every size and description.
Some sailboats were worth millions of dollars, but most were modest. Ordinary people sold their home and possessions, purchased a thirty to forty foot sailboat, and then went sailing on the ocean of their dreams.
I was amazed that sailing around the world didn't require an apprenticeship under someone like Captain Cook. These voyagers were ordinary people who decided to sail around the world. They were willing to do whatever it takes to make their sailing dreams come true.
One day at the yacht club, I met the captain of a forty-foot cruising trimaran. He built the trimaran with his own hands in California, and he was sailing around the world with his family.
His trimaran made a great impression on me, and I promised myself that one day I would sail a multihull sailboat around the world. The next time I saw that captain was twenty-four years later in New Zealand when I was sailing around the world on my own catamaran. He had spent the last twenty-four years sailing on the ocean of his dreams.
I was now fifty years old, and it had taken me twenty-four years to get ready for my voyage.
Change took a long time because I took so much time getting ready.
During one of our cruises in Fiji, I watched a beautiful trimaran glide into Savu Savu harbor. The trimaran was an impressive cruising machine, and I wanted to meet the owner. I motored across the anchorage in my dingy and met its captain. He introduced me to his unique vessel and told me an amazing story about his life and yacht.
He and his wife lived in Tonga for several years. One day when he was riding a motorcycle, he had a serious accident that resulted in the loss of one leg. He decided that one way he could turn his life around was to build a yacht and go cruising.
He designed a sailboat that would be user friendly for a person who had a peg leg. Undeterred by his injuries, he drew up plans for a trimaran on a sheet of plywood and proceeded to build his dream.
Most people who have two legs require four or more years to build a yacht. It took him only two years to build the yacht with his own hands. After loosing his leg, it took less than a year to get ready for change, and within another year, the yacht was well on its way to completion.
Positive change occurs when you are ready to make it happen.
Norman Vincent Peale spent his life showing people how to transform their lives with positive thinking and positive spirituality. His inspirational books changed the lives of millions.
After studying his writings, I knew I wanted to help others improve their lives through the power of positive thinking.
For more than twenty years I promised myself I would write books on positive thinking and positive spirituality.
I read positive books, collected positive graphics, and wrote down inspirational thoughts. I listened to inspiring stories and motivational speeches thousands of times. I knew as much about positive thinking as I did about my work as an eye surgeon.
When I was fifty-one years old, I inexplicably started writing. A switch went on inside my brain, and the message flashed in my mind that it was time to write, and I wrote five books.
For more than twenty years I was getting ready to write.
I could have written twenty books during those twenty years, but I was not ready for change to happen.
I didn't need to wait twenty-five years to sail around the world on my own sailboat.
I didn't need to wait twenty years to write my books on positive thinking and positive spirituality.
Those changes took a long time because I took so much time getting ready.
Change actually occurs in an instant when you are ready to make it happen.
If you want to learn more about making positive change happen, you can read the Owner's Manual for Your Mind by Dr. Dave.