You’re cruising steadily with the ocean’s waves, and the sun warms your skin as seawater mists your face. Everything is peaceful…until it’s not. A storm rolls in out of nowhere, and your tiny boat now thrashes violently back and forth as wind and rain impair your view of the shoreline.

Becoming lost at sea is one of the most common fears that appear in nightmares. But for a young Indonesian teen, it became a reality.

Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working as lamp keeper for a rompong, or a floating fish trap, off the shore of Sulawesi when the line tethering him broke during a storm and he became lost at sea, for 49 days.

If you’re lucky, your worst dreams will never exist in your waking life. But we all eventually face challenges that blow us off course away from our goals. Maybe you had a dream of attending a certain school, and that dream was crushed when you received a rejection letter. Maybe you lost an important person, and didn’t know how your life could ever be the same. Maybe you got fired from a job, and realized your road to becoming a CEO hit a dead end.

When challenges and tragedies hit us like a storm at sea, we feel blindsided. We feel lost. We wonder how we will survive through these storms.

It was reported that Adilang prayed every single day he was lost, and he never gave up hope. The teen said he ran out of food within a week and survived by eating fish and drinking seawater that he filtered through his clothes. He turned on his lamp every time he sighted another ship and could not remember how many passed by. Finally he was able to use his walkie-talkie to flag down a Panamanian vessel off the coast of Guam, 1,200 miles from his original location, and returned home two days later.

When we face challenges in our lives, the only way we can survive is to keep looking forward. At FPG, we know that our beliefs have more to do with our success than our abilities. When you face a roadblock on the path from you to your goal, find a way around it and don’t look back.

Do you think that Adilang would have survived for 49 days if he hadn’t been able to change his thinking? He lived most people’s worst nightmares, and he survived because giving up was not an option. Do you think the top CEOs and athletes got where they are by luck? Of course not. They worked hard, and they faced challenges just like everyone else. They know that they are bigger than the challenges standing in their way, and they keep marching on towards their finish lines no matter what.

I want you to think about some of the goals you have in front of you right now. What do you feel? What do you hear? You might have a goal you’re really excited about, or you might feel overwhelmed by a challenge that is keeping you from that goal.

When your goals are threatened by self-doubt from challenges, we need to identify self-doubt as an enemy that absolutely must be conquered in order for you to achieve your goals. That’s when you need to look self-doubt squarely in the eye and say, “I know what you’re trying to do.  You’re trying to convince me that my failures are the real me, while my successes are flukes.  That’s not even rational.”

You can turn your challenges from an anchor into a springboard by taking 2 steps.

  1. Use your successes as a power source by remembering what made you successful before, then applying those strengths to your current goals.If you were really effective at time management, for instance, use that to fuel your next project. Anchor yourself to that memory to create a powerful emotional connection to your strengths. Adilang clung on to hope so he could push himself to survive those 49 days before his rescue.

  2. Use your failures and setbacks as a power source by making them the fuel for your improvement. Failure is nothing more than feedback for future success. If Adilang looked at his situation at sea and gave up, he never would have been able to keep himself alive all that time. He used his situation to the best of his ability by catching fish for food and filtering seawater through his shirt.

Aldi Novel Adilang is a warrior. He survived something that most of us could not. Just like Adaling is a warrior for surviving his time lost at sea, you can be a warrior in your own life. In our Warrior Selling Sales Training Program, we teach that every salesperson is in one of four levels: they’re either afraid, a helper, a convincer or a warrior. No matter your job or circumstance, your ultimate goal is to be a warrior 100% of the time so you can become the best version of you.

You will experience storms in your life that blow you off course from your goals, but when your boats are rocked you can’t back down. You need to brace the wind and navigate through the chop until the sun comes out again.

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