The Blatt Watch by Peter Blatt: Learning how to captain a boat will make you rich. A recent example of the difference between reacting versus long term planning.

From the desk of Peter Blatt, J.D., LL.M.

Almost all of my preconceived notions of ‘driving a boat’ have changed.

My current car is an Infiniti G37 four door sedan. My 9 and 12 year old boys fit comfortably in the back seat. My car hugs the road. It drives somewhere between a BMW (feel everything) and Lexus (driving a couch). I can react when there is a sudden stop. When I move my wheel, the car moves immediately with the turn. I sometimes drive and lose my patience on how long something is taking and choose a different route. My last car accident was over 20 years ago; I am considered a safe driver. I have been driving so long it is natural and most of the time, automatic.

This past weekend, I took a boating course. The boat we rented for the course was a 22-foot, 2-stroke outboard engine, with Captain Martin at the Jupiter Inlet Boat Rental. I was drilled for 4 hours on how to operate a boat. I learned how to pilot a boat out of the inlet into the ocean; how to come back into the inlet; how to steer; how to dock on a floating dock; how to dock on a stationary dock; and how to anchor. I learned all about boat safety. What opened my mind was how much determination you need in order to direct a boat.

long term planningA quick turn on the boat’s wheel will only get a jerky reaction. A slow turn will carry you in the direction you want to go. It takes time for the boat to react to your turn. This reminds me of long term planning. I had a desire to leave the intracoastal and head to open waters. This desire was driven by my need to learn new things (how to motor boat or for example how to achieve financial independence). There are times when leaving the Jupiter inlet you need to accelerate and commit and if you hesitate, there are large rocks in your way! Upon hitting open waters you need to commit to a direction, otherwise the current could draw you back. Eventually, you learn where to long term planninghead and how to reach deeper waters. The GPS/compass on your boat help you correct your direction. Once I learned the skills of direction and control, I found greater confidence in myself and suddenly my desire was to always have this feeling. This is the biggest secret of life. That which you desire can be created as long as you have knowledge and follow a plan. The plan will be adjusted along the way. However, short term course corrections always need to be in alignment with your long term goals. If your goal is financial independence then, you need to learn how to navigate and make short term adjustments that will lead you to your long term goal.

There currently is a war on savers (those who want income) and it is up to you to continue to be the captain of your ship and make short term adjustments that are in alignment of your long term goals. This is boating and financial planning at its best.

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Peter Blatt

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