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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What the Titanic Taught Me About Addressing Things Head On

Tonight, I watched a Smithsonian Channel special on a guy who figured out why the Titanic actually sank. He debunked all myths that it was due to human error and bad design of the ship. From years of reading ship records of the temperatures of the sea, eyewitness accounts of survivors, and how the geographical evidence proved that the Labrador Current caused temperatures to drop in minutes, he was able to scientifically determine that the meteorology of the night caused a mirage. The lookouts didn't see the iceberg because they couldn't.

More importantly, because the iceberg only became visible at the last minute due to this mirage, they yelled to the captain to turn the ship in panic. Of course he responded and steered away from the iceberg. Ironically, if he'd simply hit the iceberg head on, the Titanic would've survived. But because the captain steered it away at the last minute, it was side swiped and fatally wounded.

Yes, the metaphors abound. But the one that I keep coming back to is the fatal blow. The fact that because the Titanic didn't hit the iceberg head-on,  but instead tried to side swipe it,  caused it to sink when it could've survived the head-on collision.

Everyday, in many ways, we try to avoid issues. I'm the first to admit that I hate confrontation. We do everything we can to not face whatever problems prevent us from living our best life. But, like the Titanic, if we confronted those things head on, we would survive. Waiting until the last possible minute to address them, even if unintentional, causes much more damage. Damage from which we can't survive. Damage that sinks us. Literally rips us to the core.

So being a geek who loves to watch Smithsonian TV, I was reminded tonight that we must always keep our eyes open and address things head on.

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