Being stable through life’s challenging times is a major feat achieved only by those who are destined for great success. We navigate life successfully depending on the strength of our anchor, be it in professional environments or on a personal level.
An anchor is a heavy hook-like metallic object, attached to a chain used to moor/secure a ship to the sea bottom. It works by having its pair of curved flukes hooked to the bottom of the sea to help the ship remain stable during a stop or in case of a storm. The strength of an anchor is mostly in its weight, and how deep it can drop into the sea.
Essentially, anchors must touch the seabed and keep a ship grounded. Your anchor must also achieve this. It must reach deep, be strong, and reliable. Your anchor is your motivation and strength when all else fails. It also serves as reins when everything is going great. Additionally, it will help you to find peace and fulfilment in this fast-paced world So, no matter what phase of life you are in, you will remain stable if you know and hold on to it. This write-up will guide you through the process of finding and knowing your anchor.
What constitutes an anchor?
Your anchor could be anything. It could be a favourite jersey number or a philosophy guiding your life. It could be physical or non-physical. Your life’s anchor is anything that is strong enough, around which your life revolves. Your anchor determines the angle from which you approach life and events.
To prevent losing the wind in our sails, we must find what inspires us, motivates us, defines us, and comforts us. It could be a desire to achieve something or an existential belief about life and experiences. To shed more light on this, let us look at different things that can constitute an anchor:
Personal Life Philosophy: Your anchor can be your philosophy about life. Your philosophy is a theory or belief that guides your behaviour, decisions, values, and attitude. A plethora of factors such as family values, religious orientation, experiences, or education can influence your philosophy. Your personal philosophy, for example, could be a view of life as a no quitting zone which will be the underlying force that guides your outlook towards loss or disappointment. Your philosophy informs your disposition when life throws you an unexpected curveball. It inspires you to bounce back and fight instead of succumbing to the overwhelming weight of despair.
Religious belief: Religious beliefs play a vital role in determining what people choose as their anchor. Usually, people draw inspiration for life from their various religious inclinations and the beliefs that come with them. It may be the belief in a superior being, a leader, an object, the universe, or in nothing. A person’s religious inclination plays an important role in determining how people react to life’s changing times.
Tradition/Cultural Beliefs: Cultures come with notions that build the practices of its adherents. The prevailing mindset of one’s tribe or group could also inform their approach to life. Each tribe or group of people have ways of approaching life that are unique to them. Those who perceive these traditions to be wise usually find their anchor in them. So, tools like cultural beliefs, proverbs, history, or legends can form an anchor to any person who values tradition/culture.
Revelation/Insight: People go through different experiences that are unique to them and often, they build on them. These distinctive experiences help create their anchor. If you have gotten insight from some striking occurrence, you will constantly refer to it in your mind and it will help guide you in the decisions you make in the future. Some people may have had foreknowledge of what could happen in one place at a particular time. This revelation will become an anchor for them. They will do and see everything through the lens of their revelations.
Family/Lineage Belief: Just as cultural groups have some traditions and religious bodies have some beliefs, families are characterized by practices they have developed over time. Mostly, families pass down these practices from one lineage or generation to the other. They develop into a system of family values that form the approach to life that people in the lineage adopt. For some people, this approach to life serves as their anchor.
No matter what forms your anchor, it must be dependable enough to guide you through the changing times of life.
The Benefits of Having and Knowing your Anchor
Now more than ever before, the importance of having an anchor cannot be overemphasized. More often than not, there will be times when you will have to fall back on it for balance.
Firstly, you will be able to make sense of situations that many regard as nonsense. Things that appear meaningless will have meaning and purpose. Our life’s anchor often informs the lens through which we evaluate life and experiences.
Secondly, you will be able to process situations and interpret them correctly. Your life’s anchor will determine how you analyse and process situations, and, often times, you will interpret them correctly. Thus, you will find it easy to analyse critical situations and come up with innovative and creative ideas on how to move forward.
Furthermore, knowing your anchor also helps in making the right decisions. When a ship is moored to the sea bottom, the ship’s captain can concentrate and figure out where next to turn. The same applies to life. Knowing your anchor will help you focus and come up with solutions. After processing and interpreting situations correctly, making correct decisions will become natural.
Conclusively, it gives you stability against being tossed by every wind. An anchor gives stability to the ship, and that is how it should function in your life. To live well, you need to be strong and stable against distractions. There are many distractions in the world today, however, getting carried away by them is avoidable.
So, what is your anchor? What is that thing that gives you a sense of purpose, that you can hold on to? How did you choose your anchor? Analyse it accordingly and you will reap the bountiful benefits.