An Ocean of Insights

“If you wish to build a ship, do not divide the men into teams and send them to the forest to cut wood. Instead, teach them to long for the vast and endless sea.”

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

My first month at sea, whenever I woke up – whether in the morning after a restless night, or from an all-too-brief afternoon nap – I began to cry as soon as I remembered my terrifying reality: that I was alone in the middle of the ocean. I honestly thought if I reached Hawaii (and I often doubted I would finish at all), I’d have to deal with PTSD the rest of my life.

And yet, after 71 days, when I completed the impossible and pulled into the Kaneohe Yacht Club, I hesitated to step off my boat. How could that be? Wasn’t I ready for a warm shower and a clean bed and to finally be done with this mad dream?

Of course I was thrilled to have reached my goal. But in those ten weeks at sea, between fearing for my life and then feeling more alive than ever before, my life was forever changed. And part of me wasn’t ready for the journey to end.

But any major growth experience doesn’t end right away – it ends after you’ve integrated the lessons. And after returning home, I reflected on the past 4 years – the toils to fund and plan the expedition, the grueling challenges at sea, the mystifying moments of wonder in the final weeks – and I came to realize I sat on a gold mine of insights for personal growth.

This adventure taught me more about myself and about how to lead a fulfilling, impactful life than anything else ever has. And what I’ve come to see is that while my time rowing on the ocean has come to an end, that experience continues to inform, influence and inspire everything else in my life.

In this Tez Talk, you’ll hear intimate stories of struggle, perseverance, and success, and receive empowering lessons you can apply to your own life. We’ll cover how to:

Cross your own ocean, whatever it might be

Turn your ambition into action and your dreams into reality

Learn how to follow the ocean’s example and become your best self

Ask for support and actually receive it


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