You may have heard the following short story or urban legend before:
This is the Transcript of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. This radio conversation was released by the Chief of Naval Operations on 10-10-95.
Americans: “Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.”
Canadians: “Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.”
Americans: “This is the captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.”
Canadians: “No, I say again, you divert YOUR course.”
Americans: “THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH. THAT’S ONE-FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.”
Canadians: “This is a lighthouse. Your call.”
Whether this is urban legend is immaterial as we can still imagine a scenario like this playing out between multiple different parties.
There are takeaways to this story and they come in the form of questions as follows:
- What could represent the battleship and lighthouse in your life or workplace?
- Where do you need to be more open to possibilities that are unknown?
- How can you cultivate more curiosity and flexibility so you can steer skillfully out of danger?
- How often do we find ourselves arguing when actually, it's pointless?
- When you are in a disagreement with someone and neither party is prepared to succumb or budge, have you taken a step back and thought about how you can be more flexible or curious to prevent a negative outcome?
This story is also a good reminder that no matter how powerful/strong you may be, there’s always someone bigger. It takes letting go of pride to change course.
It’s important to understand what you can and can’t change in your life. If something can’t be changed, divert your course rather than bang your head against the wall.
Stephen Covey used this story to bring forth the idea of laws of nature OR lighthouse principles that govern our lives. There are 4 parts to our nature: our body, our mind, our heart and our spirit. All 4 parts represent capabilities to find your VOICE.
Voice is when your talent and your passion (what you are good at and what your love doing) overlaps what the world needs.
As it is Valentine’s day it is a good opportunity to think about how you can put today’s quote into practice. Give your significant other emotional oxygen!
Have a great weekend, Karl
“When you really listen to another person from their point of view, and reflect back to them that understanding, it's like giving them emotional oxygen.” Stephen Covey