Larry Jacobson knows what it’s like to have a dream that seems nearly impossible to realize. He also knows how to make that dream come true.
“I remember being a curious kid looking out at the docks in Long Beach from behind the locked gates that led to the pier,” he said. “I saw this montage of beautiful sails and gleaming boats and the vast expanse of the sea, and I knew it’s where I wanted to be. I simply had no idea how I was going to get there.”
That’s where Jacobson’s journey started, and if he followed the course that most people tend to follow, it would have ended there, too. But sometime after becoming a successful entrepreneur in the travel business, those memories from his childhood and teen years sailing any small boat he could put in the water, started flooding back, and he knew he was ready to live his dream and sail around the world.
“I knew what I had and I knew what I wanted, and all I saw was this wide gulf between the two,” said Jacobson, author of The Boy Behind the Gate. “So, I started putting together a plan, and from those early beginnings, I started to understand that there are some clear, distinct keys to building the bridge between what you have done and what you dream of doing.”
Some of Jacobson’s steps include:
Write it Down – Something magical happens when you write down your dreams. They become a lot more real. How do you identify your dreams? Ask the right questions. What lights your fire? What makes you want to bound out of bed every morning, instead of meander out to the coffee pot? But those are very broad questions, with even broader answers. When you think of those answers, write them down. I did. I still have the piece of paper I wrote them on back in 1991.
Face Fear — Fear can be a giant wall, seemingly impossible to scale. For instance, when we left the coast of Mexico to sail 2,750 miles across the Pacific Ocean without seeing a bit of land, I had never before navigated a boat across an ocean. Keep in mind, it’s not like you just point the boat south and the next thing you know, you’re dancing in a Tahitian skirt drinking beer under the swaying palm trees. I was petrified. And the only way I could move through my fear was to haul up the anchor and say, “Let’s go.” If you’re waiting for a marching band to herald your big decision, you’ll be waiting forever. I will never forget the arrival in the Marquesas Islands, 21 days later. At first, you don’t see the land, you just smell it. It smells like dirt, soil, vegetation. And then you see the clouds. The clouds that form over the island and are reflecting the green of the land so strongly that the bottom of the clouds themselves look green. Finally, you see land. When I did, I knew I had done it. I had faced my fears and navigated my own boat across nearly 3,000 miles of open ocean. If you want to truly live an unstoppable life, then you must haul up your own anchor and voyage out beyond your comfort zone to embrace the fear and use it to sharpen your senses.
Mark the Worth in Every Day – This is not a cliché. This is not about smelling roses. This is about recognizing the value we have in our daily lives. It’s about remembering to listen, to feel, to actually see what we’re doing and appreciate each moment of our lives. Just before crossing the Indian Ocean, I was sitting up on the foredeck, looking out over the expanse of ocean that would be my home for the next 19 days. I had to pinch myself. “Look! Look at what you’re about to do. You’re going to sail your own boat across the Indian Ocean!”
And after missing a tsunami that surely would have killed me in a wall of water, avoiding deadly pirates and surviving almost drowning while being tangled in an anchor line at the bottom of the Red Sea, you better believe that I mark the worth in every single day that I’m here on this earth breathing.
“Check in with yourself every day.” Jacobson said. “Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to the day, or do you have a knot in the pit of your gut that makes you dread the day? The primary rule of living an unstoppable life is to live it with laughter, passion and love. Each of our lives IS an adventure. If you live with laughter, love, and passion, and live with every ounce of energy you have, then you’ll live an Unstoppable Life.”
About Larry Jacobson – A California native, Larry Jacobson grew up on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, sailing, kayaking, swimming, and scuba diving. A recognized expert in the corporate marketing world, he was president of one of the premier incentive travel companies. An avid sailor, he has over 50,000 blue water miles to his name. Larry is a motivational speaker and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
For more from Larry go to his site: http://www.larryjacobson.com or grab a copy of his book: The Boy Behind the Gate: How His Dream of Sailing Around the World Became a Six-Year Odyssey of Adventure, Fear, Discovery and Love