Tag Archives: life change

Living a Better Life; Determining Your QTR Factor

Have YOU figured out one of the most important things to consider in life – your Q-T-R Factor? It’s a straightforward way of putting ones life goals into perspective and is well worthy of consideration. I have figured mine out, and I’m not the same!

Profound Outlook on Life

Sometimes, just as suddenly as one is thrust into a scary situation, a shining light seemingly comes out of the blue. In my case, it was a casual (and somewhat sideways) search on the Interweb that brought me to this profound way of looking at my life. You know how Google works; occasionally search results aren’t spot on to your query, but I’m OK with a happy discovery like this one being tossed into the mix. Geez, it’s almost like Google purposely plants these things to get us all coming back to search for more – or get lost on something else ;-)

I consider myself somewhat of a fan of a gentleman by the name of Mike Joyce, the CEO of Hargrave Yachts. Well, more appropriately, I should say a fan of his style. I think it was a few years ago when we were looking into a winter escape to Fort Lauderdale for the first time that I initially came across some YouTube videos for Hargrave Yachts, who are headquartered in Lauderdale.

Some of The Acres of Gelcoat in Fort Lauderdale :-)

Some of The Acres of Gelcoat in Fort Lauderdale :-)

As part of my happy diversion into the world of big yachts and the acres of gelcoat that includes, I found myself impressed with Mr. Joyce’s down to earth, plain talking style as he discussed the ‘Hargrave approach’ to selling boats. I was hooked. After all, here’s a guy sitting on multimillion dollar yachts but making the viewer – me – feel like he was just another guy talking about the joys of boating. I mean, this stuff was really compelling. By the time I was done watching a few of his videos, I felt like I should be on the next plane south to buy one of these big boats. And he hadn’t even shown me around ONE boat!

OK, so we weren’t (and aren’t) in the position to actually buy one of those beauties. And with our current plans to slow down and take it easy, it’s more than likely that the Boogaboo Crew won’t be seriously perusing the used mega-yacht market any time soon. But hey, never say never. . .

Meeting The Man

That said, I wouldn’t mind at least meeting Mr. Joyce, shaking his hand and having the opportunity to let him know what a great job it is he’s doing. I actually saw him at the Yacht And Brokerage Show In Miami (not to be confused with the ‘Miami BOAT Show’, which takes place in an entirely different venue) this past February, but he was busy with ‘real’ clients and I didn’t want to disturb him. Next time.

mansion with yacht

Mansion + Yacht = A Perfect Combination.

QTR. ‘Quality Time Remaining’

So, you are asking yourself, what the heck does all this have to do with that Q-T-R Factor that I asked you about? Well, if you’ve never had to look at yours, this may come as a real eye opener, so sit down.

Last week, I was looking up info on the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) and saw a video by, you guessed it, Hargrave Yachts. Again it was starring non other than Mike Joyce.

As part of the hook to get prospective clients to come to the show, he recalled a talk he had with a colleague (Dudley Dawson, formerly of Hatteras Yachts and current technical editor for Yachting Magazine) about this Q-T-R, or ‘Quality Time Remaining’. In other words, what is the expected extent of your quality time that is remaining in your life – and how will you make the most of that time? Good marketing angle, Mike!

Applying The Message

Boat shows aside, that basic question was suddenly and very bluntly slammed into our faces not too long ago and resulted in putting everything into a new perspective for me and my lovely Anchor Girl. Besides being a little older than we used to be, our future years have become something a lot different than we had ever even thought about. To be diagnosed with a condition that was straight out of left field initially left us scared, confused and for me, pissed right off.

Now that we have had almost three years since the first suggestion of my MS, we are in a far better place, emotionally. To put it bluntly, we can no longer ‘expect’ to simply carry on the way we have before all this. Some would argue that we could, like most do, but not us – not ME. We have had too many great times over the past few years and we aren’t going to be robbed of the opportunity to experience even more and that’s why we are making dramatic changes for our better good. It is amazing how things like money, and plain old STUFF suddenly loose their importance completely. And it’s awesome! It frees our thoughts to those of the new memories we are going to make through our new adventures :-)

Free Choice

Whatever your current life situation is, whether still young or not so much anymore, I urge you to consider where you might be in the all too soon future and how you will ENJOY that time. We all have the freedom to make choices that will make us happy in what we are and what we are experiencing. For us, it will be enjoying sunsets on our boat in the summers, and walks along southern beaches in winters. For you, well, you will have to figure that out on your own. But do it while you still have a chance to make a free choice. . .

Anchor Girl on a beach

Strolling With Anchor Girl on a beautiful Florida Beach.

So, when I do get around to meeting Mr. Joyce in person, I look forward to thanking him for relating that story and putting it into terms that many can relate to. I hope most will ponder, take stock and ultimately make positive, forward thinking changes in their lives to get the most out of the quality years that we all have left.

And if that involves living on a boat, so be it. And I know just the guy that would be happy to sell you a new Hargrave ;-)

Book Review; ‘Leap of Faith, Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat’

I don’t recall when I first came to hear of the book ‘Leap of Faith, Quit Your Job And Live On A Boat’ (Leap), by Ed Robinson, but I’m sure it was during one of those times when I was dreamily pondering our own upcoming move to the boat. I was most likely searching for stories of folks who took their own ship’s south to escape the increasingly unpleasant winters we are forced to endure. . .

Cover of ‘Leap of Faith – Quit Your Job & Live on a Boat’

Liveaboard State of Mind

Whatever my state of mind, it must have been that ‘live on a boat’ part of the title that caught my eye. Now, before we dive into Ed Robinson’s tale, I should let you all in on a little something; ‘Leap’ represents only the fourth book I’ve read in my 50 years on this planet. Don’t get me wrong, I actually read quite a bit, but my attention span is for more of the bite size chunks, something that I can get through in one sitting. So, to say that I actually read this book from cover to cover really speaks to the strength of the author to keep a reader like me engaged, entertained and ultimately, inspired.

Photo: Ed Robinson.

‘Luckiest Man in The World’

Ed refers to himself in the book as ‘the luckiest man in the world’. Quite a statement and reason enough to read on to find out why he can say that . . .

Like many of us, he began to feel trapped in a never ending rut of going to work, coming home to bitch at the wife about the day’s stresses, go to bed and start it all over again. And again. And again. As he says, it was sucking at his soul. It wasn’t as if he was struggling with a lower paying job that was stressing him out, but rather that he had a management position, bouncing between babysitting staff and kissing ass with clients.

Sounds all to familiar with my own experiences.

Beyond  the work related stress, he found himself increasingly frustrated with the endless BS he was bombarded with in the news. Crap that seemed to be piling directly on top of him; political fighting, financial crises, American Idol and all the rest of it. There is an entire chapter on the madness of the world that we live in that is more akin to an extended rant. I found myself reading this chapter in a hyper fast way, not missing a beat – I could have wrote it myself!

You can now see how I was drawn further into his tale . . .

Photo: Ed Robinson.

Don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. In fact, apart from those two segments, you’ll find it increasingly uplifting as the story moves us past the virtual despair and frustration and into hatching a plan to move Ed’s life forward and away from the madness. Initially, escape came in the form of the musical storytelling from the likes of Jimmy Buffet and all those great Trop-Rock singers. Songs of passing the days in hot tropical climes, palm trees and boats. I mean really, who wouldn’t find escapism in a song that spoke of ice cold Corona beer and sunsets on the beach?

Did I mention I was really getting drawn into the book?

Photo: Ed Robinson.


Now that these visions of a new life in flip flops and Hawaiian shirts had planted themselves in his mind, the next thought was how he would make it become a reality. Naturally, any sane person would come to the conclusion that selling everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) and moving to a boat full time would be a logical course of action. . . Or not. Apart from his wife, Kim, pretty much everyone around him thought he was crazy. Perhaps not only because he didn’t have a boat, but that he also had a big debt load to overcome before saying adios to his job.

How would he move the plans for his wife and himself from a fantasy of tropical escapes to the reality of living feet up on a boat in the middle of south-west Florida? It was very simple, actually; make a firm plan, and work it with disciplined resolution to see it through. The carrot on the end of the stick would ultimately become a goal of not running Away from a world that was crushing his spirit, but rather running To a new life of utter contentment.

Photo: Ed Robinson.


Even if chucking it all and living in the shade of palm trees isn’t your speed, this book offers compelling and practical insights as to how any one of us can better our current financial standing and enjoy the freedom that being debt free allows. That said, I might offer a word of warning before you read the book yourself. You may end up being so moved by the enticing world they have discovered that you could find yourself perusing online ads for boats that could one day become your own piece of paradise :-)

Photo: Ed Robinson.
The book is available at Amazon.com – both in print and Kindle e-reader versions.
  A big thanks to Ed for being good enough to allow me to share some his beautiful photos in this review, all of which have been taken during his enjoyment as ‘happiest guy in the world’.

Writing a Boating Adventure Book, One Brick at a Time

For those of you who have been following my YouTube Channel for the past few years, you will have already seen the posts from our grand adventure when we purchased ‘Boogaboo IV’, back in 2010. Well, after retelling many highlights of that experience over the ensuing years, I have been inspired to put it all together in the form of a book. Yup, you heard right – I’m writing a book.

(Actually, I’m in the midst of writing two books, but the other one has a much deeper, personal resonance to it which I’ll delve into more in a future post.)

A Grand Adventure

Referring to that boat buying event as a grand adventure isn’t mere hype. It was truly a milestones that would mark a turning point in our lives – not only in terms of our boating travels, but in our whole outlook on life and what we CAN do as a couple – and survive it intact!!

In Michigan with our soon-to-be ‘Boogaboo IV’.

Survival was the key to the whole story. And the whole story is a whole lot more than can be properly conveyed through mere Blog posts, hence the book. Survival, as you will learn, has many connotations and will be used in the context of this story to relate to not only surviving a voyage of nearly 700 miles, but also that of mental, emotional and yes, marriage survival! Perhaps ‘ordeal’ might have been a more descriptive term ;-)

Applying the name on the transom before leaving Michigan, making it ‘Ours’ :-)

So, what the heck do bricks have to do with it all, you surely must be asking yourself? Read on . . .

Time to Think

As I am going on about my day, especially when I am involved in physical labour (which is most work days, in my contracting businesses) I feel that my mind is somehow released and that more far reaching thoughts and inspirations come to me, most especially when I am working alone. Take this weekend, for example. As part of our preparations to move onto the boat full time, we had to make some changes to the house and I was basically pushing a paint brush and roller for hours at a time. Put on some good music & it gives me time to think.

And think, I do. Lots of it! As I continually point out to my lovely Anchor Girl, I could fill five more lifetimes with all the thoughts, aspirations and inspirations that come to me. But that’s OK, because I firmly know that when this current plane of existence ends, I (we) will continue on with a much higher propose, so ultimately, I got lots of time :-)

But I digress. Back to the bricks!

I find it amazing how thoughts seem to come to me out of the blue, then only to be reinforced, or revisited a short time later by that same ‘spark’ being presented to me in another context. Almost like it’s trying to show me something. . .

Case in point (and finally getting to the darned bricks!); As part of my free thinking moments yesterday, I was reflecting on one of the 14,286.419 pieces of seemingly useless information floating around my head, that being a fact I recalled that Winston Churchill (former Prime Minister of England & 20th Century icon) would spend a great deal of time working at his estate, Chartwell, doing – you guessed it – bricklaying!

Mental Escape

From many accounts, Sir Winston derived a similar mental escape through building walls, fences and other brick structures that seemed to clear the way for inspirations to flow freely. His bricks, my paint brush. Or drywall trowel, or whatever the tool du jour happens to be. Perhaps it was through this release that Mr. Churchill found the abundant inspiration to write more than 50 volumes in his time.

Do I have 50 books in me? Dunno. Two years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of me writing ONE book, let alone two! But here I am, knee deep into it and finding that writing and me seem to have a long suppressed destiny.  I hope that you will look forward to reading about our boating adventure – and more. I will promise you that I’m going to do my best to keep you entertained, and more importantly – inspired!

Quickly getting back to the connections between these thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Yesterday I was thinking and jotting my notes to share with you about our Mr. Churchill and his bricklaying release. Today, I was looking at a web site (boating related, no less) published by someone we know but haven’t haven’t talked to in too many years and what pops up? A photo of a boat with the name ‘Chartwell’, along with a caricature of Winston Churchill on the transom, produced by this very person!

Was this a coincidence? No sir. Just one more sign that our new path, book, rekindled relationships and so much more yet to be discovered destinies are meant all to be. And I’m grateful for that & the forces that are moving us along this path :-)