Randall Knew Who He Wanted To Be When He Grew Up. Isn’t It Time You Did?

As you’ve probably guessed, there’s nothing I love more than meeting someone who has a dream. A friend once told me that she, and the rest of my friends, would often tell people, “Don’t sit by Joanna at dinner if you have a dream. She’s likely to have you convinced to start before the dessert course.” 

Which is why, on our second date nearly 20 years ago, when Randall Reeves told me, “I’ve always wanted to go bluewater sailing.” my immediate response was, “Well, why aren’t you?” 

At the time, Randall owned a 21′ Columbia that, if the tide headed in the wrong direction, it couldn’t create enough speed to get out the San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge and out into the ocean. Randall was a Bay sailor; he wasn’t an ocean sailor.

Over time I learned that Randall’s yearn to head out and explore the oceans had deep roots. His father had, in his younger years, been a Merchant Marine. As a kid, he and his family had spent many summers sailing the Delta. As a young man, he’d had the opportunity to interview the famed (in sailing) adventurer, Bernard Moitessier. Mr. Moitessier, for my landlubbing readers, was one of the participants in the first Golden Globe Race, a solo, non-stop circumnavigation rounding the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin, and the Horn. For seven months, the veteran seafarer battled storms, doldrums, gear-failures, knock-downs, as well as overwhelming fatigue and loneliness. Then, nearing the finish, Moitessier pulled out of the race and sailed on for another three months before ending his 37,455-mile journey in Tahiti. Not once had he touched land.

Take a moment and think what it might be like to have the idea for a dream and early in the process get to meet someone who’s not only manifested the dream but taken it to an epic level. How would you react? Would it inspire you and make you believe that anything was possible? Or would it tamper your dream because the definition of success is too far out of your reach?

Nearly ten years after that second date, we married. Shortly after the wedding, Randall and Murre (his slightly faster boat) sailed out under the Golden Gate Bridge for a two-year adventure around the Pacific. Fast forward several years, and in late 2019 Randall and Moli (another slightly faster and more robust boat) became the first person to circumnavigate Antarctica and the Americas in one year alone. That’s 306 days at sea, 40,000 miles, countless storms, 237 of those days without stopping – no people, no trees, nothing – just ocean. This adventure, he called the Figure 8 Voyage. Yeah, I’m pretty proud of what he’s accomplished. Accomplished with limited resources, an army of generous advisors, and an ocean full of tenacity and drive to “figure the next problem out.”

What Randall will also tell you is he had me. From my initial “well, why aren’t you doing it?” on our second date, to the “Look, you can either figure out HOW to do this sailing thing or just shut up about it.” I apparently snapped on one of our regular hikes. To the moment in Cabo San Lucus during the Murre And the Pacific adventure when, plying me with margaritas and guacamole, he casually suggested that he extend what was supposed to be a year-long odyssey to two and a half years because “I’d like to sail to French Polynesia.” My response? “I think you should do that.”

When Randall shares his frankly terrifying and horrific sounding stories of sailing around the Southern Ocean, (that’s the bit around Antarctica where wave heights can reach 30-40 feet), he’ll also generously thank me for being there and believing his dream was, in fact, possible. 

He didn’t need help in dreaming up his potential. He needed help with believing in the possible. That was my job.

Ok. So I’m not sharing this story to tell you how awesome I am, or how amazing Randall is. Ok, maybe a little. I do LOVE telling his story.

I’m sharing it because if you have a dream, and I’m sure you do, sometimes you need someone around you who believes in your crazy idea just as much as you do. Imagining the Future You can be a very lonely adventure if you’re doing something new. Having someone on your squad who believes in the Future You makes manifesting that person significantly easier. I’m not saying your adventure is going to be easy. But imagine you struck out with a virtual hand at your back as if to say, “I’ve got you. And I know you can do this. Just move forward.” I like to think this is who I’ve been for Randall and the people who sit next to me at dinner. I know it’s who I am for the people I coach.

So what are the ideas I want you to take from Randall and his story?

  1. Your dream doesn’t have to be a lonely adventure.
  2. Just because your first dream came true, doesn’t mean you can’t have another one. 
  3. The adventure is never over.
  4. You don’t have to have it all figured out. Just start.
  5. If you choose to do so, marry well. 🙂

We’re in weird times. Times when the rule book is torn up, set on fire, and tossed out the window. Maybe it’s time to start your adventure. What did you want to be when you grew up? Who do you want to be now?

Randall’s adventure wasn’t linear, and for a long time, he didn’t believe it was possible, but others – me and his team of virtual stowaways – helped him see that possibility was just a step away. 

Having a potentialist open your eyes to your possibility isn’t the only way to manifest the Future You. Sometimes the potentialist has been there all along. Click here to read a very different adventure of learning how to grow up to be who they wanted to be. She needed a different kind of person to help her manifest her dream.