"If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it.” Jonathan Winters
Jonathan Harshman Winters III is an American comedian and actor. As a stand-up comic with a madcap wildness, his best known character is Maude Frickert, the seemingly sweet old lady with the barbed tongue. In 1999, Winters was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Where’s your ship? This metaphor of a ship coming in is powerful – a big vessel filled with everything imaginable that can change your life in one docking – everyone dreams of this and yet it almost never happens. Let me tell you a secret: your ship is already here. It’s always been here and yet you continue to look over the horizon for what you think will be another that may be better. The reality is that the best job, or friend, or family, or team, or whatever else you’re hoping for are the ones you already have. Here’s the deal: you have to make them the best you hope they will be. You have to put the time and energy and resources and commitment and thought and effort into making them whatever you hope and want them to be. You have to build that ship from the bottom up and fill it with all the things you need, and then use them all each day to make you what you want to be. You have to stop dreaming and start doing – that’s the only way a ship of any kind or size is ever going to arrive for you. Dreaming about this, hoping for this, waiting for this – that’s not what it takes to make it happen. Planning for this, working towards this, making the best use of whatever you have – that’s how to get all you ever want, all you’re ever going to have, and be all you’re ever going to be. That’s how it works – now, start swimming!