The Imaginary Boat

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem.  Everything else is inconvenience.”

— Robert Fulghum

Imagine you have a friend. Imagine your friend lamenting all the problems with his boat.


How much time the maintenance takes, how little time there is for sailing, how leaky it is, how much the payments are, how awful the color is, etc. Depending on the nature of your friendship, you might feel sympathetic to his plight.

Now imagine your friend telling you all those problems with the boat when, in fact, he doesn’t have a boat.

It’s an imaginary boat.

I would imagine that you’d think he was a bit loony. You might even suggest professional help for him. At the minimum, you’d probably try to steer clear of your “friend.”

And yet, that’s precisely what happens everyday. We dump imaginary problems like these on other people,

  • “What if it doesn’t work?”
  • “What if I get laid off?”
  • “What if I fail my classes?”
  • “What if my boss gives me a bad evaluation?”
  • “What if the audience doesn’t like me?”
  • “What if he said bad things about me?”
  • “What if tomorrow’s another bad day?”

And on and on …

Maybe before you dump a problem on someone else, it’s worth asking if that problem is real.

More importantly, maybe it’s worth asking if the person you’re dumping on …

… is yourself?

Today’s gift of time … Guidance and mentoring for a fellow Toastmaster, as well as starting up a new project in Toastmasters which I hope will one day bring benefit to the community.  

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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1 Response to The Imaginary Boat

  1. Sheer brilliance! Amen!

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