Stories, Books, and Life

Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won’t enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen. ― Donald MillerA Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

If you haven’t read Donald Miller’s book – do it, it is a great collection of essays, stories, and letters. I have spent the last month thinking about the concept of entering a story. Thinking about life as a collection of stories. In particular thinking about my story, and its collection of stories. Last Month I completed my second Marathon. This time, It was in Vienna, Austria.  If you asked me five years ago I would have never thought that I would do a marathon, let alone be signing up for my third – as is the case today. It’s funny, getting into running. It starts with doing a few 5ks. Then after having done several you tell yourself that it would be a good idea to try a 10k, then that turns into a half-marathon. Then not hours after finishing a half marathon, your start to think about doing a full marathon. Now for me, once I finish a Marathon – I always want to sign up for another one. There is something about running for hours and hours. Something about accomplishing a goal – about a new personal record, something about the challenge, competing against yourself. Striving to be better than you had been. To be your best self.
Thinking consciously about life being a collection of stories that you write, that you edit yourself. Some of that story – most in my option is self-directed. Choosing where to go, what to focus on. The opportunities that you accept – the ones you reject. The people you spent time with the comments you take to heart, the ones you let roll like water off a duck’s back. The books you read, and down to the way you feel about and look at things. All of it is your story, all of it part of your legacy.
So, what do you want to be known for? How do you want to be remembered? Thinking of this concept has given me a grounding point in my life and I hope that it can help to ground you as well. Thinking about the overall impact that you want to make and create with your life. I have only these moments that I can use to make, create and grow. I know that anything can happen tomorrow cannot be counted on and yesterday is gone forever.
“putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours.”
Seneca, On the Shortness of Life
I know that I want to create things, writings, courses, companies – things that will live beyond my lifetime. Things that can help others who are editing their lives – who are writing their stories. I want to help. To accomplish what I hope to in my life I must make steps towards my goals daily.
“Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”  –Seneca
So, in addition to running and thinking, I have been writing a lot this month. Working on making the next course, that will be going up soon. Working on building relationships with other schools and maritime instructors, and supporting some of the Associate Instructors with writing and putting their courses on our platform. I am excited at this opportunity for growing Coeval into a larger online training center.
I want to thank you all for your continued support and general awesomeness.  I want to close this post with another thought that has endured two-thousand years and is no less true today than the day it was written.
Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow, and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Seneca
Wishing you all the best.

Article by Jaquie

CEO of Coeval, Inc. and a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy Class of 2008 with a degree in Maritime Operations and Technology. Currently USCG Approved Instructor. She has worked primarily on Liquefied Natural Gas Vessels completing, conventional loads and discharges, Ship to Ship transfers, commissionings, and Regasification through APL Systems and HP Manifolds. She has also worked aboard, Pure-Car Carriers, Product Tankers, General Cargo, and Bulk Grain Vessels. She currently holds an Unlimited Chief Mates Licence issued by the United States Coast Guard. With the following endorsements: Certified Person in Charge (PIC) for the transfer of Dangerous Liquids and Liquified Gas, Certified Person in Charge of Medical Care aboard ship, Lifeboatman-Fast Rescue Boats, GMDSS, Vessel Security Officer, Crowd Control and Crisis Management, Qualified Member of the Engineering Department and Jr. Engineer.