How to Lift Boats by Raising Your Tide

a rising tide lifts all boatsYou may have heard the ever-more-popular aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats,” but have you applied that bit of wisdom to yourself? If not, now is the time to do so.

So, what does “a rising tide lifts all boats” mean? Initially, this pithy nugget of truth was associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy benefit all participants in that economy.

The phrase is commonly attributed to John F. Kennedy, who used it in a 1963 speech to combat criticisms about a dam project he was inaugurating. However, in his memoir Counselor: A Life At The Edge Of History, Kennedy’s speechwriter, Ted Sorensen, reports that neither he or the then President’s created the phrase. The New England Council, a regional chamber of commerce used the slogan first, but JFK borrowed it often.

With that bit of explanation and history under your belt, not it’s time to put the slogan to use in your own life.

How to Lift All Boats

Since we aren’t talking about the economy or a dam project—we are talking about you, let’s turn our attention to how you can apply this aphorism in your life. How can you “raise your tide” and “lift” all the “boats” around you?

Consider all the people around as “boats.” These could be the employees who work for or under you, your friends, your family members, or even the people in your community. You have the ability to lift up the people you know in some way.

I usually think of this activity as lifting them up in some way. For example, you can help them develop a more positive attitude, feel happier or more fulfilled, look for solutions (rather than problems), and develop hope.

A Responsible Ocean

You may not see this as your responsibility. After all, you can’t change anyone. Other people have to choose to change, right?

Yes, but… You can influence them to change by being a good role model. You can persuade others to change by bringing a different energy—a tide—into the relationship or situation.

If we all remain self-centered, the world remains pretty much the same. When you look beyond yourself, you realize that your way of thinking, feeling, and behaving has an effect on others.

Then you begin to see that you are responsible for the energy you bring to any situation or relationship.

You know how to create change. You do so by being the rising tide, which means you need to change so you can lift boats.

How to Raise Your Tide

You raise your tide by changing your energy, thoughts, and behaviors. Be a wave of positivity, hope, encouragement, enthusiasm, and joy.

As you bring demonstrate these qualities, others around you will begin to feel it resonating in themselves and in the environment you are creating.

And…low and behold…their boats will begin to rise to your level.

It’s that simple, raise your “tide,” and watch the boats around you begin to rise as well.

It’s possible to lift the “boats” around you by merely raising your tide.

A New Tide for a New Year

The prevailing sentiment as the New Year approaches always seems to be the same: we need change. Some will say we need change more now than ever, but previous generations felt the same way.

If you want to experience something different, be the difference. Show up differently with such high energy that you create a vast swell that pulls up everyone and everything around you.

If enough of us raise our tides, we’ll lift a lot of boats. And that’s how we’ll change our relationships, the situations in our lives, and the world.

How can you raise your tide and lift the boats in your life? Tell me in a comment below.


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