We’re at the end of an amazing year. While I look back at all the wonderful memories, I can’t help but wonder what 2021 will bring. I’m excited. I’ve waited patiently for this year. While it might be Agenda 21 year, I have my own agenda, and ain’t no government going to stop me.
Personally, I couldn’t see 2020 being worse than 2019, a horrible year from hell for me. This year, 2020, has brought many amazing things into my life: new friends, incredible adventures and a boat.
While others were consumed with news from around the world spouting off one disaster after another, bringing fear with every headline, I ignored it all and lived life the way I always do: day by day. I worked at a seasonal job I loved, met many wonderful people doing it, talked with countless customers on topics I enjoy, bought a boat with my extra money, paid off bills, went camping, sailing, hiking, exploring and reconnected with nature miles away from civilisation.
Through it all, I learned that I can depend on myself when the going gets tough. I mean really tough; oh, my god I’m going to die if I don’t knuckle down, ignore the pain and get the job done tough.
Through it all, I recalled the advice given from inspirational gurus, a list of things to do when the going gets tough. Apparently, it was the philosophy of men stuck in the ice in Antarctica in 1915. It’s what brought every man out alive. Every man.
HMS Endurance, a three-masted barquentine, captained by Sir Ernest Shackleton, set out in 1914 on an Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Shackleton and his crew of 27 men and one cat (Mrs. Chippy) became frozen in the ice on January 18, 1915, and that’s where they stayed for 10 long months until the ice claimed the ship. The men with lifeboats and everything they could salvage from the sinking ship, survived to tell the tale. If you want to learn more, History has an article about it, but there are plenty of others on the Internet: The Stunning Survival Story of Ernest Shackleton and His Endurance Crew.
Horribly, Mrs. Chippy, who turned out to be a male cat, was shot when the ship was lost. The captain feared it would have suffered more if allowed to live. Chippy’s story is here: Mrs. Chippy.
Shackleton advertised for his crew with this advert: Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.
Would you have applied?
Back to the Survival Tips
Apparently, Shackleton had a philosophy, and these simple rules kept the men alive to return home. While we are not living in such cold, desperate times, if applied to every-day life, life becomes easier. So remember:
- Cultivate optimism in yourself. (You can do it.)
- Stay grounded in reality. (Don’t imagine the worse possible scenario. Facts only; no opinions. React with the brain, not the heart.)
- Be aware of your self talk. (No telling yourself you’re stupid, that you can’t do it. Instead, tell yourself you are wonderful because you are.)
- Find outlets for your feelings. (This could be talking to a friend, writing, drawing, sword fighting, beating up grass – you get the picture.)
- Let go of guilt (HUGE; just let it go. It’s doing you no good.)
- Long term goals and short term milestones. (Write ‘em down. Read ‘em often.)
I have these Rules for Life written in my Journal, and I have them posted to my kitchen cupboard. I read them often. I want to commit them to memory, so they are with me always.
Keep these in mind when facing hard times, particularly that self-talk. Self-talk destroys a lot of people.