Your work, your family, school, whatever it is that’s stressing you out, is a boat. That boat is meant to get you where you belong—the place you were always meant to be. The people there are waiting eagerly for you because they need you and want you there. Unfortunately, right now there is a leak in the boat. You’re still able to operate the boat and steer it toward that place in the sun where you want to end up. After a while, though, you find that you have to bail out more and more water from the boat to move properly, and eventually, you’re spending a disproportionate amount of time bailing out the water. In fact, the leak is getting worse, and soon enough, you spend all your time bailing rather than sailing. The bailing becomes the thing. Now, what you could do and what you should do is just fix the leak. It’s out of control. This leak is going to be your ruin. It’s a true crisis. But you’re afraid that if you stop to fix the leak, the boat is just going to take on more water. That prospect is so worrisome to you that you decide to bail faster. After all, that’s what you’re there for, right? You exist to bail water out of this boat, right? That’s what you’re supposed to be doing. If you fix the leak, what will happen? You’ll have nothing to do. Your very existence will be in question.
Wrong. The boat exists for you. It’s your mission to steer the boat to where you are truly needed and can make a real difference in this world. Yes, you might take on more water while you’re fixing the leak, but you can bail it dry once the leak is fixed. Yes, there is a danger that you won’t fix the leak in time, but that is a risk you must take. The alternative, a tragic misuse of your skills and abilities, is far worse than doing the right thing, no matter how risky.