The other day when we were ashore in Florida, I was having lunch with a fellow crew member at a sports bar, when a waitress came up to us and said “You know what, you crew members are so lucky. You have the perfect life. You are getting paid to see the world”.
Me: “I guess. Still, it’s a job”.
Her: “Come one, you have nothing no worry about. No expenses, just travel”.
At that point, I was tempted to ask that if I had “no expenses” would that mean that lunch was free? Instead, I replied “You know, you can work on cruise ships too. There are lots of jobs available.”
Her: “Oh no, I can’t because of blah, blah, blah”.
I guess I was really lucky then, simply because I didn’t have the same limiting beliefs that she did for herself.
Come on, you don’t need to win a lottery in order to work on a cruise ship. You just need to be 21, have relevant work experience and education, be of decent health, not have a criminal record and not live in an Axis of Evil country. And obviously, have the desire to work on board cruise ships. The barriers to entry are actually incredibly low. There are something like 300 different jobs on board these floating cities, practically something for the whole gamut of skill sets, from cleaner to captain and everything between. It’s not like trying to get a job at NASA, where you have to be a rocket scientist.
And because you’re working in international waters, it’s easier to get a job on board a cruise ship than it is to get a work visa in most foreign countries (I know this from personal experience, having worked in 6 countries.). Best of all, it’s a growing industry! If you need more assistance, check out Wandering Earl’s comprehensive e-book.
But the point of this post is not to sell you on working on cruise ships. Really. Cruise ship life is not for everyone. I want to discuss a subject much deeper. It’s about this whole notion of luck. You see, luck is bullshit.
My belief is there are very few things which are really due to luck. Winning the lottery is luck. Where you are born, that’s luck. Your gender and genetics, that’s luck. Your family, that’s luck. If you grew up with access to clean drinking water and decent education, you’re lucky. And if you were born in a developed country, you are damn lucky.
When I meet someone doing what I want to do, I try to learn from them by asking how they did it. That’s what I’ve done when it’s come to travel, career, health and fitness. The term for it is modelling. Rather than dismiss their success by saying that they are a statistical anomaly, I tell myself “if they can do it, I can do it”. Because really, we can. We make own luck. And the harder we work, the luckier we become.
I bet this lady has never even applied to work on cruise ships. Florida is home to the largest cruise ship terminal in the world – the opportunities are right there at her doorstep! She just wanted to focus on what she didn’t have in life. I find that sad. Focusing on what we don’t have rather than being grateful for what we do have, is a recipe for life-long misery.
I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly special but I am happy to say that right now, I’m living the life I want. It’s not perfect but I’m grateful. I don’t think everyone needs to travel to be happy. Some people rather focus on family or career or some other passion which makes them happy, and that’s perfectly fine. For me, it’s travel. One day the disadvantages of cruise ship life may outweigh the advantages, and that’s when I’ll move on to something else. You don’t have to be lucky to live the life you want. You just need to take action and give it your best shot.
How about you? Are you an action-taker or do you prefer to leave things to “luck”? :)