When you find your purpose, calling, or quest in life, don't expect others to be thrilled about it.
Last week I told the story of how I stumbled upon the idea for my biggest life quest yet:
to row a boat solo across the Atlantic
Recently, I did two days of ocean rowing training in Dorset – as a complete novice – as part of my training for my 2025 Atlantic expedition.
"How fit are you?", enquired Bob the instructor over email.
"I'll be fit Bob, don't you worry."
By the second day of training in Dorset I was dog tired.
But I’m still significantly fitter than I’ve ever been.
I've been "in the gym" most mornings for months now, before my two boys are even awake.
The truth is, now that I have a purpose, heading to the gym each morning is exhilarating.
Before this, staying fit just for the sake of staying fit was a challenge.
I couldn’t help but think: What's the point in heading to the gym without a higher mission on the horizon?
I now have a purpose. A spring in my step, you might say.
But now I’m dealing with a new challenge.
The harsh reality of my happiness and excitement about this mission is that not all the people around me are sharing in it.
I feel sorry to have to warn you of this, but if you too happen upon your big idea for adventure or purpose – don't expect others to also feel happy about it.
Be ready for the chagrin it will draw up from deep inside of them.
I've now spent more than 12 months thinking, talking, and reading about ocean rowing.
I know the history, too, of men like George Harbo and Frank Samuelson, who were the first to cross the Atlantic in 1896 in their boat, 'Fox.'
And John Fairfax, who was the first to row across the Atlantic solo in 1969.
I light up with enthusiasm when I talk of these incredible men and their feats.
Imagine my disappointment when sharing these stories, and my own unfolding adventure, with friends – who react with disdain and comments like:
"You're an idiot."
"You're being selfish."
"Spend the money it would cost you to row an ocean on therapy instead – to work out why you want to row an ocean."
I can’t lie, it's hugely disappointing when others you love can't share in your excitement.
I can’t help but wonder, what does my passion trigger within them?
But here's the test.
If it really is your calling, you won't care what people think.
Of course, I have responsibilities. I have a wife and two children to raise.
But I now know enough about the task ahead that with modern technology and specialist training, it's no riskier than an expedition to the North Pole.
It's the same steely determination required that will have you out of bed at 6am in pursuit of your goals.
When you have a big challenge, everything else becomes easier.
Even suffering the disdain of those around you.
Success, happiness, purpose is like anything, it will invoke envy in others, especially, if it was determined and defined by you.
It's not fair to say all have responded in the same way. I get the occasional secret text message that says, "This is amazing, I'm with you all the way. Tell me more!"
I say "secret" because they fear the wrath of a spouse who has already branded me "an idiot," whilst they furtively live this adventure vicariously through me.
So, why am I telling you all this?
It’s a warning. Some wisdom to prepare you for finding your own purpose.
In pursuit of your big quest, when you find that flicker of excitement, that's when the dream is at its most vulnerable.
Don't let those who would snuff it out and extinguish your dream have even a moment.
The truth is, judgement comes from fear, and you can help them too by showing them that you can and you will succeed, with or without support.
You might find that, one day, they admit your dream gave them the courage, even the permission, to chase their own.
By finding your big challenge, by persevering when others doubt, you can help them see that they too can, and must, row their own boat.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. If you've got a big idea you want to finance – or, you're simply ready to take the next step on your personal wealth journey, here's how I can help.
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