Once, while heading to lunch with a Wharton classmate who was a sailing expert, I asked her, ‘If a boat needs to sail DIRECTLY against the wind, how would it do that?’
She explained the trick: You can’t sail directly against the wind. But you can sail up to 45 degrees to the left or right of the wind. And then by zig-zagging, effectively, you CAN sail directly against the wind’s direction.
I think this is also a great metaphor for how to take on seemingly insurmountable life challenges. Maybe we can’t face them head-on. But can we move forward ‘45 degrees to the left or right?’
For example, if you want to achieve financial independence but can’t see a way out, can you start learning a skill that may fetch a better-paying job a few years later?
For sure — this will take time, but which big problem can be solved instantly?
Take your time, keep zig-zagging, but keep moving forward. That is the only way to do the seemingly impossible.