Friday, August 20, 2010

Wishful thinking... or why the phobic will inherit the earth!

We all have fears where our boats and cruising plans are concerned... Some of us fear sinking, others collision at sea, still others storms with names and yes, dear reader, some like myself fear zombies!

That said, fear is no bad thing as it keeps you alert and on your toes. Fear, after all, is a key survival trait that is there to help you survive and it is smart to embrace your fears and live with them as long as you do not become a slave to them.

On the other hand, a state of mind that is NOT a survival trait at all is wishful thinking... More to the point, wishful thinking is something of a made to order gene cleansing program. For instance, the guy who fears sinking will be up close and personal with all of his many bilge pumps and keep an eye on his thru-hulls and hoses as well as making sure his stuffing box is adjusted properly... Not to mention the back up plans we phobic folk are constantly thinking about... You get the point!

On the other hand, practitioners of wishful thinking would simply do the odd positive thinking that all those things that could sink their boat would not happen and when all hell breaks loose are more than likely thinking positive thoughts rather than bailing.

Wishful thinkers are often unhappy as they find themselves disappointed more than phobic folks. I know that when we arrive in a foreign place that there will be problems either with paperwork, VHF license, where to clear in, or some such hassle (maybe the customs guy had a fight with his wife that morning over breakfast) as it is simply part of the gig .

I often read about people complaining bitterly that when they tried to clear in to the wrong port with the wrong paperwork they had all sorts of problems and how awful it all was but they never quite understand it was their fault. I remember trying to explain to someone about clearance procedures for a destination and they simply ignored anything that they thought was a hassle and went into wishful thinking mode and could not understand why they were refused entry at the border since they did not have a visa.

Wishful thinking is sadly not confined to the sailing and cruising world, as it would seem that most economic decisions these days are at best of the wishful thinking mode going full tilt boogie. I don't know about you, but wishful thinking by those in power is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night almost as much as zombie hordes!