I’m honored that my dear friend and New York Times Bestselling Author, Marie Chapian, included our experience surviving a Force 10 storm into her latest book. She tells the story about Günter and me surviving the Force 10 storm referred to in Maiden Voyage. Here’s a excerpt from her new book, How to be Happy in an Unhappy World:

My good friends Lois and Gunter Hofmann circumnavigated the world for eight years in their forty-three-foot custom-built Catana catamaran called Pacific Bliss. They tell of a harrowing, life-threatening experience in the Colombian basin where they were heading for W. Gallinas Point, the northernmost cape in South America…suddenly the wind increased from force 8 to force 9. (Force 8 equals a gale.) The waves crashed all around them. Within hours, the wind speeds increased to fifty-plus knots, a force 10. The waves were as high as four-story buildings. Force 12 is a deadly hurricane…

In life, you’re going to hit force 12 winds. Wild, unpredictable, screeching storms will hit as your journey along on your sea of life. It’s a given. But you have a choice. You can fight against the crashing waves in a furious assault against the beast of the sea, or you can coil into a fetal position in fear of death. Or you can take the advice of experienced life sailors and “run with the wind.”

About How to be Happy in an Unhappy World
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In this explosive new book Marie shows how it’s possible to know and live a lasting happy life without awful and debilitating ups and downs. Utilizing new brain research, exercises, Scripture, spiritual awareness and prayer, she proves that it’s our rightful inheritance to be happy, and HOW TO BE HAPPY IN AN UNHAPPY WORLD gives us the tools and the loving guidance to get there. Buy the book on Amazon.

About New York Times Bestselling Author, Marie Chapian

portrait-vignetteMarie Chapian is the author of more than 30 books, translated into 17 languages. Her books, teaching materials, art, fitness classes and coaching are inspired by a passionate love for God and His people. God has given Marie a vital sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and a powerful prophetic anointing. Signs and wonders follow her ministry. As a certified life coach and fitness instructor, Marie is the founder of JC Wings of Wellness, the ministry offering Christian life coaching, health and fitness classes to restore, renew, and bring healing and wholeness to every part of our lives. Marie leads Wholly You seminars, retreats and classes to, as she says, “help bring us into a more beautiful life spirit, soul and body.” These life-changing spirit-soul-body events here and abroad are dynamic Holy Spirit empowering experiences designed to bring life-long changes and spiritual growth to each individual.

 

 

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I’m furious. I’m angry. No, I actually want to cry. Why? Because I’m feeling left out yet again. Over our morning coffee, Gunter pointed out to me yet another article about the baby boomers, “The Generation that Changed the world.” By the end of 2014, every boomer will be 50 or over. This time, the article is in AARP, that magazine that arrives mysteriously in the U.S. mail when a person turns 50, at the height of his or her earning power, barely thinking about retiring. The magazine is the voice of the American Association of Retired Persons. Always and forever, the attention is placed on that huge generation that began in 1946, at the close of World War II, and ended in 1964.  Last Sunday, Parade magazine carried an article about Jane Pauley’s monthly TV special and her recently released book, “Your Life  Calling, Reimagining the Rest of Your Life.”

I grab the AARP article and read it voraciously, searching for any mention of my generation. Of course, there is none. The article blithely skips from The Greatest Generation—who was “lost all the time” with no GPS in their cars and having to understand the Dewey Decimal System to look things up—to speculating how Generation X and the Millennials will run the world.

It is as if my generation, 1929-1945, never existed! Leaving us out is more insulting than not even having a name! A few have named us. They call us “The Silent Generation.” Apparently our voices were overtaken by all those screaming babies! In a scholarly study published in 2008, we are called “The Lucky Few.”

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Some of us gained international fame: Elvis Presley, Neil Armstrong, Martin Luther King, Sandra Day O’Connor, Colin Powell. Others of us broke through glass ceilings to allow the big rush of baby boomers to storm through. I remember sitting in the main conference room of a Fortune 500 corporation, the only woman, waiting to present the business strategy for my department. I had to endure the slow slide of the foot of the V.P. sitting next to me inching up my leg. I pretended not to notice. He didn’t believe in women in the Board Room and wanted to throw me off my game.  While attending a conference in Washington D.C., the only woman in the audience, the speaker joked that “women belonged in the kitchen.” Overcoming adversity, we businesswomen took it all in stride and marched forward, paving the way.

Perhaps we are indeed lucky. We “silent few” have always been the scouts, the forerunners. It is we who were the big brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles who showed the way to this huge crop of baby boomers! When I retired from business as CEO of a publicly held company, I reinvented myself by sailing around the world with my husband on a 43-foot catamaran.  During our eight-year circumnavigation, I noticed that many fellow cruisers were paving the way for a new, less-consumptive lifestyle—one that values the great outdoors, yet leaves a clean, pollution-free wake. With my “In Search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss” book series, I have reinvented myself yet again, so that I can share that rewarding lifestyle with those who follow. And because I’m of that “lucky generation,” I can demonstrate that it works. I’ve already “been there, done that.” And I vow to be silent no more!

On the way to Sarnath to see the Buddhist sites in India, we asked our driver to stop outside a village and let us walk through on our own, to interact with the locals. This is who we met.

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Last night was the end of college basketball’s March Madness, the culmination of a sixth-month-long season that has turned twenty-year-olds into national celebrities. UConn squashed Butler, called a small conference “Cinderella.” There would have been a real Cinderella if the San Diego Aztecs had won. The team did make one of Sweet Sixteen play-offs, which just happened to occur within ten minutes of one of my March book signings. Oh well.

I didn’t know, before getting into the book game, that March is the month of madness for writers. March is the month for Spring Book Tours.  Authors hit the road to give readings and to promote their books.  The new, new thing is a Virtual Book Tour, during which, supposedly, one doesn’t have to fly from her writer’s nest. Frankly, I needed a break from my computer and messy desk.  I prefer the physical tour, where I can talk and shake hands with readers and sign their books (many of them purchased on-line).

The Meets & Greets were fun! Those events fueled me for what I am doing now: a writing marathon. Gunter has been my “life mechanic” throughout the MAIDEN VOYAGE book writing-and-touring process. Now he is off to Hong Kong to get away from it all.  And I’m attempting to “write around the clock,” with work-outs, a little sleep, and a few lunches with friends thrown into the mix. My body is sitting at my computer, but my brain is flitting from French Polynesia to the Cook Islands, to Fiji, and on to the remote Banks Islands of Vanuatu, reliving our circumnavigation.  And when I take my walk around Sail Bay, I mumble a few words to those who pass by, but my head is in the clouds.  I’m totally immersed into the second book in my nautical ‘round the world trilogy, to be called SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC.  I hope to have it published by the end of this year.  Unless I turn into the Mad Hatter before then!

“There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.” Alice in Wonderland


I learned a new term this week: “eudaimonic well being.” Eudaimonia is a Greek word associated with Aristotle that is often mistranslated as happiness, says the Shirley Wang in the March 15th Wall St. Journal. Some experts say Aristotle actually meant well-being when he wrote that humans can obtain eudaimonia by fulfilling their potential.

Even as happiness research is exploding, some of the newest evidence suggests that people who focus on a sense of purpose as they age are better off than those who focus on achieving feelings of happiness. They have better cognitive skills, better mental health, and even live longer.

Bingo.

I had just written my last blog on being happy by “enjoying the path.” Too much focus on feeling happy can actually lead to feeling less happy! Analysis by researchers at San Diego State University again confirms that people who pursue extrinsic rewards, such as money or status, often aren’t as happy as those who don’t.

So don’t sit around worrying. Focus on your goals.  Pursue your passion. And suddenly, you’ll realize that you are indeed experiencing happiness, of the “eudaimonic kind.”

Many New Year’s resolutions don’t pan out because you simply are not passionate about them.  Yet many of the passions you may have remain unfulfilled because you did not set them as a firm priority in your life.

I have one primary passion this year of 2011: sharing my travels through writing and photography.  My specific goal is to complete Book 2 of the trilogy “In Search of Adventure and Moments of Bliss.” This book will be called SAILING THE SOUTH PACIFIC.  I look forward to writing it; in fact, I already drafted the first five chapters in 2010, before my focus became to get the first book, MAIDEN VOYAGE, published and available on www.Amazon.com

One might think that merely pursuing one’s passion is easy.  I like to write.  I like to adjust my travel photos in PhotoShop.  I love participating in the design-and-layout process involved in producing my coffee table books. But I learned one lesson well from sailing around the world: turning dreams into reality requires more than passion. So many other things in life tend to interfere.  Achieving a goal requires passion plus purpose.

So my purpose this year is to spend a minimum of two hours every day of creative writing.   My friend, the late “Captain Jack,” to whom my first book is dedicated, kept reminding me that 2 hours per day x 365 = 730 hours.  If a writer can write 1 page in each two-hour session, a reasonable expectation, he or she would have the draft of a 365-page book completed by the end of the year!

Posted on the door to my “writing den,” (I refuse to have an “office” since I retired from business), is the following poem by Horace Mann:

Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset,

two golden hours,

each set with sixty diamond minutes.

No reward is offered,

for they are gone forever.