As I leave the Mein Schiff 1 in Bilbao for a quick trip to the supermarket, I see the amazing crew members working on cranes on the ship’s outer hull. They are painting areas that have been affected by docking, the anchor, or other elements on sea. Every night, the entire ship is hosed down, the lifeboats are maintained, and every detail is ensured to shine. For saltwater is a persistent adversary to all surfaces. Corrosion, rust, or loss of propulsion systems are just some of the things that can happen if you neglect your ship.

On my way to the harbor building, I turn once more to the cranes and the crew members, thinking to myself, “In the end, this is the secret to a long and happy life.”

Just as a ship requires constant maintenance, so do you need this care for your mind and body. Those who immerse themselves too deeply in the negative world of news and meaningless discussions are daily attacked and impaired by the “saltwater.” And I consciously emphasize impaired. Because what you don’t consciously neglect is unconsciously processed in your brain. What I mean is, once a piece of information enters your brain, it cannot be deleted. In is in. I realized this when I watched a documentary in our cabin a few days ago. Do you know those news tickers that run along the bottom of the screen in some programs, displaying the latest (or worst) news that is currently happening? Those tickers are quite cleverly designed. Because where there’s movement, your eye is inevitably drawn. And in a split second, I glanced at that ticker and was immediately bombarded with the first horror report of the day. It’s not as if there are joyful things written to make viewers feel better. Quite the opposite. Those things are like saltwater waves crashing daily against the hull of your ship on the high seas of life.

So, what’s the solution? Reading or hearing something positive just once? Attending a lecture once? And then what? Are you hoping that this one-time protection will shield your personal ship against all external attacks for the next 50 years? Like “once time is enough”? If you want to live a long and happy life, you should regularly engage with positive things around you. Meet visionary people, positive role models, those who can tell you more about your brain, your behavior, and the impact of certain things on your life. How often should you do this? My mentor, Bob Proctor, used to say, “Personal development is something you must do every day for your entire life. Until the wooden box closes someday.”

Whether you join a community like our Caribbean Rebels, read personal development books regularly, or take some other action in that direction, is ultimately your decision. The important thing is that you do it. Not for me or because I think it’s great. Do it for yourself, and perhaps through that, you’ll become aware that being surrounded by the right people and informations will bring you much more joy and fun in life.