Originally posted after David and Launda Wheatley’s transatlantic adventure in 2015, this blog offers practical insight on measuring progress in the midst of chaos. It has been edited slightly since the original. 

When you’re in the midst of turmoil, it can be difficult to remain calm and see progress. Abundant examples of this happened when David and Launda Wheatley sailed across the Atlantic with two other crew aboard the Ruby May.

Many days seemed to produce no forward momentum. Sometimes the sails were slack and progress was nonexistent. Other days, storms battered them, and it was all they could do to move with the tremendous swells. To make matters worse, those storms didn’t ever take them where they wanted to go.

How do you keep perspective when your present circumstances seem grim and hope is in short supply? Take a longer view.

The good ship Ruby May actually was making headway. On any given day, it may not have felt like it. When in a tough situation, stepping back and looking over a longer view helps to keep perspective on the fact that progress is real and meaningful.

My kids went through a tough time years ago. It was very hard to stay calibrated to the fact that things were getting better. On any given day, it was all too easy to focus on the negatives. Even though the overall trend was positive, but it was all too easy to feel hopeless on days when they struggled.

positivity over time

Whether it’s a project that feels colossal, a family crisis or a global pandemic, look back to see that you are going forward. The seeds you planted and nurtured are growing. Your sails are indeed full.

Do you have a tried-and-true method for marking progress, when it doesn’t seem obvious? Comment below or message us!

Photo taken aboard the Ruby May