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What has gone through your mind when you said to yourself or someone told you: "You missed the boat!" Whether you missed the opportunity to obtain a job, start a business, spend more time with your loved ones, or tell someone you loved them before COVID-19 robbed their lives away, we’ve all felt that sinking, regretful feeling.
I came from the "Boat People" refugee era following the Vietnam War in the late 1970's and early ‘80's. The boat was a significant symbol for me at that time and has continued to be throughout my life. Sure, I have missed a fair number of boats in my life. One of my regrets was missing the opportunity to get close to my dad. He was a person who had a profound influence on my life. He is the reason I always want to excel, and, yet, his discipline also crippled me at times.
In my memoir “I Did Not Miss the Boat,” I shared with you how my family left everything to escape out of our birth country with only one intention in mind: find "freedom." Our vision of freedom was worth it even if it meant we would come face-to-face with death. With this mindset of looking toward the horizon, my parents did a great job teaching us to always forge forward to find hope and look for opportunity in the midst of adversity. As the firstborn, I was fortunate to experience firsthand some of their resilient characteristics.
Now I try to always look for the bright side of the situation and also scan my vision to see as many possibilities up close or from a distance. It isn't an easy process. I have many doubtful moments and fears that stand in my way that blocks my sight, too. But I know if we are willing to look at a different perspective, we can pull out those negative thoughts and replace them with the positive ones. Many boats are still waiting for you in that positive dock.
How can you prevent yourself from ever missing another boat now that you realize what you've missed?
Here are a few tips that will help you not miss your boat:
Clarity and vision are a must to help you get on the right boat. Figure out what “your boat” is and where you would like to go. My dad knew he needed the time to methodically research and took the time to build his own boat. He did not just jump onto any boat, that was where many people failed or got caught.
Ask for help, support, or collaborations. Tell others what you are looking for so they will look out for your boats, inform you, or help you get on the boat that you are waiting for. With a large operation underground delivering 502 people out to sea, my dad had to be extremely careful to vet trusted people in his team and in the passengers. It was an enormous task to get the right people onboard.
Opportunity will not wait for you to get ready. Always have your suitcase ready to jump onboard when the boat arrives. Dad took the time to prepare and get ready, and when the time was right, the boat sailed in just one trial and succeeded.
However, let's not confuse "Missing the Boat" with FOMO (fear of missing out), because there will be many shiny objects that will distract you from the path to success. You must know your purpose if you want to catch the right boat.
I hope my story will bring hope and inspiration for you to look within your own sea of boats so you’ll never have to say to yourself: "Dang! I missed the boat again!"
There's still time to set sail, the question is: When do you want to do it?
Help me help others! Join my boat!
If you know any women's clubs, associations, organizations that look for inspirational speakers, let me know! I am available to inspire their audience to get out of their comfort zones to create change for growth. I also enjoy being interviewed on podcasts, radio, and TV programs. Please feel free to share my TEDx talk http://bit.ly/LeaTranTEDx
To get more information about me.
Check out my website https://www.leatran.com/
To share my memoir with friends, book clubs, schools, or libraries, order the book here to get an autographed copy.