The Boat in the Desert

On a very hot day  — well over 100 degrees — not too long ago my much-better-half and I were driving in the Mojave Desert here in California (I’m sure we had a good reason at the time) when we came across a truck carrying a family and towing a motorboat down the interstate.  It was a striking and memorable picture because water (even a puddle) wasn’t anywhere close by and because the boat was framed in our vision by sand and tumbleweed.  It looked something like this (except that the boat was much bigger):

I immediately thought that the image was a forlorn one.  But, as usual, my DW had a far better take.  She saw it as a powerful message of hope. 

Only someone who hoped for something better would be pulling a big ski-boat through the Mojave.  Perhaps more importantly, it suggests a plan — they were headed somewhere.  They weren’t sitting around waiting for water and refreshment what weren’t likely to come.

Finally, it illustrates hope and a plan with an intentional objective.  They were headed somewhere specific to launch that boat and have some fun. 

Whether it’s with respect to investing or in life, we tend to head nowhere or, at best, toward some general, unspecific somewhere. As Lewis Carroll famously put it:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

So, wherever you are relative to where you’d like to get, here’s to hope, a plan, and a specific set of objectives, in investing and in life.


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