If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.Seneca

What does that mean?
To me, the saying is about your destination. If you don’t have one, no wind can possibly take you there. You must have an idea of where you wish to go, what your destination or goal is. Without it, you are adrift. Without it, the wind becomes irrelevant.

This is similar to, but the opposite of, the Lewis Carrol quote from a few weeks back. In that quote, Alice asked the Cheshire Cat which road will take her away from where she was, to which the Cat replied that any road would do. Here, we discuss that without a destination, you have no favorable wind, no way of getting there.

Why is a destination or goal important?
While life is truly more about the journey than the destination, neither do we want to be a feather in the wind, blown to-and-fro without reason. Most of us want to accomplish something in their lives, even if it’s only for our own vanity. Many of us also want to leave a mark on the world, that the next generation will have a better life in some way because of our efforts.

How can one do these things without a goal or a destination? Yes, you can stumble into something great, but that’s not a plan, not a goal, not a destination. Most of us have an idea of what we might want to do, and by having the idea, we can take advantage of favorable winds.

What might a ‘favorable wind’ be when one does not sail? It might be a chance meeting with someone who has a similar goal or destination. It might be an opportunity to speak to people who might be able to help you move forward or past an obstacle. It might be a seminar or class offering that would give you the skills you will need to complete a task.

These events would happen with or without a goal. However, knowing your goal, you can see how these events could help you get closer to completing a task or otherwise help you complete your goal, to reach your destination.

Where can I apply this in my life?
The first step is knowing where you are going, right? What goal or destination do you have in mind? Grab some paper and write a few things down, across a few different aspects of your life. Career, friendships, relationships, hobbies, travel, charity or whatever else you might have in mind.

Take a look at your list. It might look like a lot, but only if you aren’t keeping track of your time and try to do it all tomorrow. Think of it as a five year plan, and check your status annually. I think you’ll be surprised how well things will go, if you keep busy.

Select one of you goals or destinations. How will you get from where you are to where you want to be? How do you reach your destination? Imagine what kind of wind you would need, and where would it come from?

Take a few minutes and break down you goal or destination into steps. Every journey starts with a step, and progresses one step at a time. What steps can you do on your own? Which steps will you need assistance to complete? Will you need training, expert advice, someone who can do it for you or do you just need someone to provide support?

Once you know what kind of help you need, you can start looking for favorable winds. Next time you help someone and they ask what they can do to pay you back, you can ask them if they know anyone who could help you do whatever your next step is. If you didn’t have a goal or destination, you wouldn’t know what to ask for, right?

You can also ask friends and acquaintances if they know how to help you, or if they know someone who could. Perhaps you are trying to reach a larger audience, and you ask a friend who happens to know someone who is in the marketing business. That might be helpful, right?

When I went to replace the suspension on my car, I knew what my goal was. Knowing that, I asked my brother (an ASE certified Tech) to talk me through what I’d need to do, so I could plan and prepare. Later, I got some help from a guy I met online through a car club, who had some specialized tools. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without a goal or destination. Yes, the people would still exist, but I wouldn’t have had a reason to ask them for help.

Life seems to be a collection of twists and turns, and random storms. If you have a goal or destination in mind, you can set your course and trim your sails to best navigate the stormy seas. Without a destination, what would you do? How would you decide where to navigate, how would set your sails to get there?

Know where you are going, and avail yourself of the best winds. Take action, and keep moving. Setbacks should be expected, but keep trying and eventually you’ll reach your destination.

From: Twitter, @philoquotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna100585.html
Photo by tmaull

, , ,

4 Responses to If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.

  1. Ceci Battisti 17 October 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Loved your blog on goals and destination as I am trying to encourage a friend of mine who has seemed to have lost his motivation for finding the way, Thank you for some new insight and the great quote by Seneca which I designed into a poster…..

    • philosiblog 23 October 2015 at 1:29 am #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing your use of the quote.

      I usually get comments from the primary reader, so it is quite interesting to hear from someone who will use the information to help another. My circle of influence is growing, and that’s a nice thing to hear. I hope things go well for you and for them. Also remember that life tends to have cycles, and that often lost motivation is a sign of frustration. Have fun, and stay strong.


  1. One must steer, not talk. | philosiblog - 20 August 2011

    […] important? We have talked about of another one of Seneca’s nautical references before, and this seems to be headed in the same direction (if you’ll pardon the pun). Here he […]

  2. Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life. | philosiblog - 8 August 2011

    […] can I apply this in my life? I have covered goals before, specifically here and here, so I won’t go over the minutia of how to set a goal (you can check the prior posts above, or […]

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: