Once upon a time there was an eye surgeon who decided to live his dreams. His particular dream was to practice medicine in underdeveloped countries and to sail around the world on a yacht.
Such a radical dream meant he would never become rich or famous. Because this was such an important decision, the surgeon knew that he should spend a large amount of time looking into its pros and cons, and he should closely examine the impact it would have on his life. Therefore, he totally dedicated five thought-filled minutes to this decision. Those five liberating minutes were all he needed to start walking on the path to his dreams.
The surgeon now knew where he was going, and what was he was going to do with his life. But there were still several important lessons he had to learn, and those lessons focused on security, survival, and stuff.
He learned that when you travel on the path to your dreams, there is no such thing as security. It just doesn’t exist, and it makes no sense to worship at the altar of security, because security is a false god. Life is inherently risky, and the bigger your dreams, the more risk you have to take to make them come true.
He also learned that in the long run, we are all dead. Life has no survivors. Since you only get one life which is far too short, he decided that he should make his life into what he wanted it to be, and that it should count for something good.
Finally, he learned that no matter how much stuff you accumulate on your journey through life, you can’t take any of it with you when you die. Therefore, he decided to not spend a lot of time and effort in piling up a mountain of money and other acquisitions that would slip instantly from his grasp at the moment of his death.
Once he realized that there was no security, that there were no survivors, and that you can’t take it with you, he became a free man. He was liberated to live his dreams.
Deciding to live my dreams was one of the smartest things I ever did. Hmm. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to do the same.
I MAY BE WANDERING, BUT I AM NOT LOST
For twenty-eight years, I have lived, traveled, worked, and cruised outside the USA.
My global adventures have sometimes been a source of confusion to my family and friends. Some of them have even suggested that I have wasted large segments of my life. After all, if I had gone mainstream professionally, I could have been rich - maybe even famous.
They are probably right. I could have been rich and famous, but I also would have been miserable, maybe even depressed, because I would not have been living my dreams.
I worked as an eye surgeon for eleven years in Saudi Arabia, and then I went sailing around the world with my family on my small yacht. When I stopped doing ophthalmology and started living my cruising dreams, many of my professional friends acted like I fell off a horse and hit my head. They thought I was throwing everything away when I moved on to different things.
They had a problem with their vision. They had a form of inner blindness that prevented them from seeing my dreams. To them, it looked like I was wandering, even lost.
Well, I have news for all the naysayers, disbelievers, and critics. Even though I am wandering, I am not lost. I am on course, and I am exactly where I want to be, because I am living my dreams.
In one of my books I have a term that I use to describe a group of clueless people; I call them the Life Long Disoriented. These folks don't know who they are, and they don't know where they are going. They are adrift on the ocean of life.
I am not a member of the Life Long Disoriented because I know exactly who I am. I am Captain Dave, circumnavigator of planet earth. I am Landroverman, an expert in expeditionary travel in Land Rover Defenders. I am Dr. Dave, a flying doctor with the Indian Health Service flying out to Indian reservations to deliver health care in Arizona. I am also a speaker, writer, podcaster, webmaster, and photographer.
I also know where I am going. I am traveling in the direction of my dreams. Wherever my dreams take me, that's where I will end up. Although it may look like I am wandering, I definitely am not lost. I have been living my life on purpose for more than 60 years, and I plan to continue living the same way.
The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that if you aren't living your dreams, you are wasting your life. So go ahead. Live your dreams. You'll be glad that you did.
GRAND SCHEMES AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS
In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes seem fairly insignificant. In a global sense it's easy to feel as if my life counts for nothing, or at most, counts for little.
I've had several earnest people tell me in no uncertain terms that I was wasting my life as I sailed around the world on my yacht, and I can understand why they felt that way. Those people thought I was on a prolonged vacation, and they didn't understand that I was making a life and doing things that were important to me. They couldn't see that I was giving my children a multicultural experience that made them into citizens of the world. We didn't just sail around the world, we sailed around the world as a family. In the age of single parent families we were doing things the old fashioned way - we were a real deal family unit in which every person on board had responsibilities that contributed to a safe voyage. My children survived without cell phones and a dreaded peer group to complicate their lives, and they grew up to be good citizens of the world who actually cared about other people - even people from the third world.
During that eleven year voyage, I maintained the yacht, wrote five books, started three web sites, and paid for my children's college education. There weren't enough hours in a day to do all the important things that demanded my attention. Now that I have sailed around the world, I can finally take a real vacation from all of that work. A long time ago I learned that what other people think of me is none of my business, and I focused on doing what was important to me. Life is an inside job that works best when I start from the inside and work my way out. When someone tells me that I shouldn't be doing things that are important to me, and that I'm wasting my life, they are really saying that my dreams don't count in their scheme of things. My dreams aren't important, and instead, I should live dreams that make sense to them. These people are Outside-Inners because they are taking their outside dreams and trying to cram them down my throat, and that doesn't work. It's the recipe for anger and frustration, and is a terrible way to make a life.
In the grand scheme of things, my grand schemes are supremely important to me and to me alone. I have a choice. I can either live my dreams, not worrying about what other people think, or I can forget my dreams, and let them wither. If I do that, my spirit will wither as well. Joy will no longer spring up in my heart, and each step I take will echo the dull thud of dread I feel in my heart that results from not living my dreams.
The handwriting is on the wall, and the message is clear. There is simply nothing more important than living my dreams. Even if I don't rock the world, I can still rock my world and that's what counts.
Someone much smarter than me said, "What you do isn't important, but it's important that you do it." Those words have the ring of truth, and you can build your life on them. So fire up your dream machine and have a few grand schemes of your own, because that's why you're here on planet earth. God gave you the capacity to dream, and He gave you a lifetime to make those dreams come true.
Please excuse me. I must go now because it's time to work on my grand schemes.
DON'T LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF NEGATIVITY. LISTEN TO THE SOUND OF YOUR DREAMS.
You are never safe from negation. Unchecked negativity can rapidly flush the achievements of a lifetime down the drain. Negativity is an ever present and unwanted companion that continually invites you to abandon your dreams. Everyone moving in the direction of their dreams will suffer defeats and sometimes feel their dreams are impossible. Negativity will attempt to derail them on the path of achievement, and the temptation to quit will be strong. Everyone wants life to be easy. They want either no opposition at all or opposition to politely step out of the way as they move toward their goals. This is unrealistic. People who achieve their dreams aren’t strolling through life; they are climbing the mountain of difficulty, and hard work and perseverance are the only way to reach the top.
If you ever reach your dreams, it will be because you stopped listening to the voice of fear and negation. You stopped looking at your limitations and stopped constructing barriers that exist only in your mind.
When you decide to sail around the world on a sailboat, you encounter an ocean of opposition. A crowd of naysayers and critics freely offer unsolicited opinions and advice concerning your proposed circumnavigation of the globe. Friends are sure you are having a midlife crisis. When you write the check to pay for your yacht, they inform you that you have made a down payment on an expensive funeral at sea. They tell you all of that money could have been spent on a nice house, 100 channels of cable television, and the help of a good therapist to get you over this foolish desire to sail around the world. The easiest thing to find on planet earth is someone to tell you why your dreams are too expensive, too dangerous, and a waste of time. With cheerleaders like that, it’s amazing anyone pursues their dreams.
It’s not just family and friends who question your judgment. During moments of adversity, you wonder whether you are heading down a one way street in the wrong direction. The voice of fear starts a powerful negative chorus that repeats itself thousands of time, and if you start listening to its message, your dreams will evaporate.
What would happen if you fall off the boat at night at sea? What happens if a whale rams your boat? What happens if you hit a floating log, or if a ship runs you down at night? What happens if a hurricane strikes? What happens if you meet pirates or drug runners? What if your boat is struck by lightening? What if your boat runs up on a reef and is destroyed on a remote deserted island? What if you get sick when you are at sea? What if you have appendicitis when you are one thousand miles from land? What if you hit your head or break a leg? What if your boat turns upside down? What if there is a fire or explosion on board? What if you collide at night with a floating container that has fallen off a ship? What if you become seasick? Who will stay awake at night and stand watch while you sail offshore? What if your boat sinks and you lose all of the money you invested in the yacht? What if you loose your medical skills while you sail around the world? How will you ever be able to return to the practice of medicine?
I experienced all of these negative thoughts many times before I purchased my yacht. Those thoughts could have stopped my voyage before it got started. My dreams would have been stillborn if I listened to the voice of fear.
If I listed all of the reasons why I shouldn’t sail around the world in a small sailboat, I could write a hundred page document full of disaster, difficulty, and despair. I know dozens of reasons why my dreams are too expensive and involve too much risk. If I listen to the voice of fear and negativity, I will sit at the dock and watch everyone else sail on the ocean of their dreams.
Once I hoisted my sails in Fort Lauderdale and started my voyage, I had dozens of opportunities for negativity to sink the ship of my dreams. On my first night at sea, I experienced the most powerful thunderstorm I encountered on the entire trip around the world. Surely, that must have been a sign sailing around the world is a bad idea. It was a message to stop the voyage in the Bahamas, anchor the boat in Chicken Town, and check in to Hotel California where I could never leave, but at least I would be safe.
When I reached the Panama Canal, the voice of fear again tried to cancel my dream of sailing around the world. There is no need to transit the Panama Canal and sail in the Pacific. Just stay in the Caribbean and have a wonderful cruise. The Pacific Ocean is a vast body of water with reefs, cyclones, and killer whales that could destroy my yacht. The voice of fear told me to stay in the Caribbean forever.
After I arrived in the Pacific, the voice of fear started a new verse with the same fearful chorus. It’s three thousand miles from the Galapagos Islands to French Polynesia. You are at sea day and night for three weeks. You don’t see any other humans for twenty-one days, and there’s no one to rescue you if you get into trouble. Don’t go. Stay in Nowhere Land where you’ll be safe.
After I arrived in French Polynesia, the voice of fear said to skip sailing to the Tuamotu Archipelago. You will hit a reef as you sail through the atolls. The passes through the reefs into the lagoons are too small, and once inside you will be trapped. A storm could easily destroy your yacht when it’s inside a potentially treacherous lagoon. Sailing in the Tuamotus involves high risk. Skip them and sail directly to Tahiti.
After I sailed across the Pacific Ocean, it was necessary to sail twelve hundred miles south from Fiji to New Zealand. It’s a big trip into higher latitudes and the voice of fear again rippled through the cruising fleet. The talk was of storms with special emphasis on the recent Queen’s Birthday storm in which lives and yachts were lost. Sailing in the higher southern latitudes presented new and unfamiliar risks. The voice of fear filled everyone with a sense of foreboding. Sailing to and from New Zealand is scary. Some mariners left their yachts in storage in Fiji to avoid the sail south. Other sailors loaded their yachts on freighters and shipped them home.
Several weeks after I arrived in New Zealand, I rolled the car I was driving. I broke both legs, fractured five ribs, punctured one lung and had internal bleeding. I was transfused seven units of blood, had three surgeries, and spent two months in the hospital. Surely, this disaster proved sailing around the world was a bad idea. The sensible thing would be to sell the yacht, buy a plane ticket to Nowhere Land, and start watching cable television where I would be safe and secure for the rest of my life.
Negativity can overtake you anywhere on the path to your dreams. I could have stopped my trip around the world a dozen times before I reached New Zealand.
Surrendering dreams is easy. You can do it anywhere or anytime. Most people will tell you that you are doing the right thing when you sell your dream machine and join the ranks of the Life Long Disoriented.
Negativity is a stalker that never goes away; it’s your unfailing and unwanted companion eternally inviting you to abandon your dreams.
Negativity is a dream stealer. Don't listen to the voice of negativity. Instead, listen to the sound of your dreams.
LIVING WITHOUT REGRETS
Dead dreams are called regrets.
If you let your dreams die a slow and painful death, your life becomes a cemetery full of regrets.
When you live your dreams, they never die.
Even if you live to be a thousand years old, your dreams will still be alive, because once you breathe life into them, they live forever.
Regrets are also forever.
Eternal dreams or everlasting regrets - which will it be? The choice is yours.
GUILTY AS CHARGED - GUILTY OF LIVING MY DREAMS
Take a look at these fish. They belong to a group called "Everyone Anonymous". Almost all the fish in the sea belong to this not-so-exclusive group. They distinguish themselves by always doing the same thing as everyone else. They swim in the same direction, they turn together, dive together, and surface together. They look exactly alike, and when the fish police put them in a line up, they can't pick out the good fish from the bad. There's nothing to distinguish one fish from the other since they all look and act the same.
Being a member of "Everyone Anonymous" does have its perks. There's apparent safety in numbers, and that may keep them from being eaten. On the other hand, their clone-like behavior may actually attract predators who have a sixth sense that allows them to detect weakness and easy prey.
If being like everyone else guaranteed a great life, then membership in "Everyone Anonymous" would be a good idea, but the opposite is true. These drones lead dull predictable preprogrammed lives. The script for life has already been written, and the outcome is sure. They will never have a real life because they are always doing exactly what everyone else is doing. They will never think an original thought or dream great dreams.
Every time I see a school of fish, I think about my life. I ask myself If I am a member of "Everyone Anonymous."
When my life is over and on judgment day I stand in the final line up with all the rest, I hope millions of people can point their finger at me, pick me out of the line up, and say, "He's the one. That's definitely him. He's different from the rest. He didn't conform, and he lived his dreams. He's guilty as charged."
That's my master plan. I want to be guilty of living my dreams.
EXIT ONLY SAILING ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN IN THE TRADE WINDS
EXIT ONLY ON AN ELEVEN YEAR SAILING VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD
MY OZZIE DEFENDER 130 LAND CRUISING IN THE OUTBACK OF AUSTRALIA
MY NEW ZEALAND DEFENDER 110 LAND CRUISING IN MILFORD SOUND
MY ARABIAN DEFENDER 110 LAND ROVER LAND CRUISING IN THE EMPTY QUARTER OF SAUDI ARABIA
Dave Abbott - Captain Dave sailed around the world with his family on his Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. Captain Dave has owned six Land Rover Defender expeditionary vehicles and one FJ 40 that he has driven through Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, New Zealand, and Australia. He is planning a driving trip around the world in a Defender 110 Land Rover.
Donna Abbott - First Mate - Donna earned her stripes the old fashioned way by enduring the rigors of passage making for the thrill of exploring exotic ports across the globe. If Donna could travel full time, she would. There's no place on planet earth that she does not want to visit. She has explored more countries than two people could count on all their fingers and toes. Air travel is her least favorite method of travel. But if you put her on board Exit Only or behind the wheel of a Defender 110, she will go anywhere.
Wendy Abbott - Mate - Wendy is a veteran of dozens of adventures around the world. She sailed halfway around the world on board Exit Only from Florida to New Zealand. She drives Defender 110 Land Rovers like a professional and has tens of thousand of miles under her belt on her adventures on land and sea. When not adventuring, she works as a doctor.
David Abbott - Mate - David shot over 170 hours of footage on the voyage from Australia to Florida. He then produced the Red Sea Chronicles. In addition to the narrating the film, David scored, performed, and recorded the soundtrack for the project. David sails catamarans like a mad man, and drives Defender 110 Land Rovers until the wheels fall off or he is out of gas. He is a good mate on land and sea.
Sarah Abbott - Mate - Sarah is an adventurer and offshore sailor with a trip from Australia to the Med under her belt. She sailed through Pirate Alley, up the Red Sea, and into cinematic glory in the Red Sea Chronicles. She loves life on the high seas, and is ready for another sailing voyage with Team Maxing Out. Her fresh and enthusiastic perspective on cruising helped make the Red Sea Chronicles so special. Sarah grew up in France and is fluent in French. When not adventuring, she works as a physician's assistant.
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.