Perhaps if I had aimed higher in life, I could have achieved more. With a bit more drive, I could have had my own reality TV show. With even more effort, maybe I could have even been President! Who can I blame for my lackluster existence? I guess I am just going to have to be content with changing the world. Here I am adding the last bit of floor (deck) in the forward section of Borderline:
Growing up as a country boy in Maine, you get influenced by some strange ideas. For example, we were told that rich people weren’t very nice. My dad used to describe himself as poor but honest. In school, the smart kids were often not all that popular. I suspect that some of the subtle messages we got when we are young, pushed us towards all sorts of strange fears. You might be surprised to discover that fear of success is not all that uncommon. Google the subject and be amazed: http://www.fearof.net/fear-of-success-phobia-achievemephobia/. For some, fear of success is a debilitating phobia while for others like me, it is just another annoying proclivity like fear of spiders or fear of the dentist. When we’re too afraid to take risks and move forward on our goals – either consciously or unconsciously – we get stuck in one place, neither moving forward nor backward.(1)
I now have the starboard floor section in. Just a couple more floor bits to go.
So am I suffering from fear of success? Who knows, but I do know that I really have to force myself to finish things. And so it is, as I approach the end of Phase One of ESPcat, (getting the cabin completed) I am struggling to get the final bits finished. I have known people who were unable to complete anything at all. I once met a guy who had earned all the requirements for a university degree except the final paper in one subject. His frustrated professor told him that he would give him a passing grade if he just turned in anything at all. He didn’t ever get that degree as far as I know. I think the problem was that, if he received the degree, then he would have to go out in the world and actually try to do something with it.
If I finish the new cabin on Borderline, I will have to test her out and prove that she will actually achieve 7 knots on her two tiny 8hp motors. What if she only goes 3 knots? I will have to demonstrate that her cabin with its large roof area designed to carry a 5kw solar array, will not have too much windage. What if she is impossible to handle in any breeze stronger than a gentle whisper? With Borderline sitting safely in the mud, I don’t have to face any of those fears. I can just dream the days away and imagine how wonderfully she will perform.
OK, the truth is that I really don’t think I would make either a very good reality TV person or a very good President so there is no great loss in these areas. At this stage in life, changing the world is the only option. That is what the ESPcat project is going to do (assuming that it’s not a failure). ESPcat is going to give lots of people a whole new kind of boating experience. No smoking, no fuming, no roaring. Just solar-electric motor humming. There will be no conquering the elements but rather working in harmony with the environment and showing others how we can all change the world if can only conquer our fear of success.