The Voyage: A Short Story on Overcoming Obstacles and Succeeding in Life

It was a misty morning when a young man arose startled from what seemed to be a comforting sleep. Dazed, confused, and barely conscious his body lifted him upwards as his eyes began scanning the surroundings. Stepping foot on the cold wooden floor, he made his way to the boats main deck. As he opened the door, a subtle breeze glazed through his light dark hair. Shutting his eyes while inhaling a deep breath, he savored the relaxing sensations that altered his entire being. Feeling refreshed and more coherent, he sensed an object in his pocket. He unfolded the paper and starred at the map before him. The map showed two points; a point of origination and destination. Trying to decipher its meaning, he also observed a red dot which was placed halfway between those two points. Seeing this linear path provided him with some comfort: the comfort of knowing where he came from, where he was heading to, and where he was currently at. What he did not know, was that his voyage was about to experience some major turbulence.

Suddenly, the refreshing breeze was gone. The suns gaze had dimmed. Darkness crept up and encapsulated the crystal blue waters. In a matter of seconds, adrenaline rushed through the young man’s body. His limbs tightened and eyes widened. In front of him was a beast given birth by natural occurrence. In front of him, was a wave as tall as the mind can fathom. Panicking in silence and fixated in form, his mind began calculating multiple options of evacuation. Should he jump ship? Should he call for help? Should he take control and steer out of danger? As minutes turned into seconds and the wave quickly approached, a spark of intelligence stimulated his brain and gave light to an outstanding plan. First, he needed to convince himself that he was going to get through this. He reached into his pocket and reopened the map. He knew he was half way on his voyage and his options were to either turn back or keep going. Regardless of the option he chose, he still had to sail the same distance i.e. another half back or another half front. So, why not sail towards the destination? Despite the rationale behind the thought, this option was not an easy one. He could easily give up and let his environment take control of the situation. However, remaining strong in belief, the young man made the decision to ride the wave of difficulty and overcome the challenge that waits ahead. The young man decided to take matters into his own hands.

First, he needed to get rid of useless objects that slowed down the boat and made it increasingly difficult to maneuver. Dead weight that lay idle and does not contribute to the overall success of the voyage must be completely removed. Second, he needed rigid faith that his decision to persist will lead to a positive outcome. Unknown to the consequences that could arise and the risks that may take place, he relied fully on the decision he had made in hopes that it was the right one. Third, he visualized how amazing of an experience it would be if he overcame this situation. He knew that if he came out of it alive, he would in turn become a stronger, knowledgeable, experienced, and well-rounded individual. Finally, he had to harness the power gathered from his self-motivation and maneuver the ship into what will become the hardest obstacle this young man will ever have to face.

The door to the control room opened abruptly. The young man, standing at the entrance of the door, tightly gripped his fists and made his way to the boat’s wheel. Sitting on the stool and making sense of navigational instruments, he began to panic. The ground beneath him shook aggressively sending the young man flying across the room. The time has come, and the young man knew it. Lying on the floor severely bruised, he questioned whether to continue with his foolish plan. Interjecting his self-doubt, he swayed his mind to remember his promise to persist regardless of how hard things might get. Using whatever bit of energy he had left, he stood back up and took control of the boat. This time, with a more concrete look of determination, focus, and drive, he sailed the boat past the most brutal waves. The harder they hit, the harder he sailed. An hour had gone by and his hands began to loosen. Palms dampened with sweat and lower back aching from constant tension, his focus began to fade. The only variable keeping him alert was the bullet-like sound the waves would make as they blasted the wooden surface of the boats body. Unable to hold on much longer, he closed his eyes and began praying that the waves would suddenly come to a halt. He was praying this madness would all be over.

The young man woke and stood straight up in his bed. He looked around his room sifting his head from one end to the other. Confused, he ran to his grandmother to tell her about his dream. Explaining the vivid and daunting experience, his grandmother responded with a warm smile. She looked at him and explained the following:

Life is just like the voyage you had experienced. Life will never be a smooth road, it will be accompanied by multiple uphill battles. You must have the faith that one day things will get better and even though challenging situations arise, you must fight to keep going. One day, you will look back at these situations and thank them for crafting you into the man you have become. It is important, however, that you realize at what point you start from to find out what point you are heading to. After planning the path you choose to take, make sure you create a contingency plan that will save you if things go wrong. Have faith in yourself and keep yourself reminded that the work you are doing today will reap benefits tomorrow. Understand that sometimes you must cut out the negative aspects of your life, whether they are bad friendships or bad habits. You cannot allow dead weight to drag you down when you are trying to climb the ladder of success. You must visualize every step of the process. See it constantly in your mind and play it over and over again. If you see where you want to end up and who you want to become, your mind will find a way to make your vision become a reality. Do not forget that along the way, not everyone will wish you well. Not everyone will want you to succeed. Some might not understand what you are trying to accomplish or the benefits of what you are doing. Despite their lack of belief in you, all that matters is for you to believe in yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to, because nothing is impossible.