Everyone talks about competency for seafarers. What about self-confidence, without which knowledge and skills are for naught?

 Not believing in one’s self and one’s abilities can be a problem especially for Third World ship officers and crews. Many are too diffident to assert their rights, and they often display a slavish attitude towards foreign senior officers. But even those who seem so sure of themselves may see their self-confidence eroded in the face of danger or extreme difficulties.

Our doubts are traitors
And makes us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

— William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (about 1603–04)

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings (1854)

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.

— Marie Curie, as quoted in Madame Curie: A Biography by Eve Curie; translated by Vincent Sheean (1938)

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.

— Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Self-Reliance (1841)

Life for both sexes—and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement— is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle.

— Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1935)

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others… So much more respect have we to what our neighbors shall think of us than to what we shall think of ourselves.

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antonius; translated by George Long (1876)

When you see a man of worth, think how to rise to his level. When you see an unworthy man, then look within and examine yourself.

— Confucius, The Analects of Confucius by William Edward Soothill (1910)

When I look around, I always learn something: to be always yourself, and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.

— Bruce Lee, radio interview with Ted Thomas (1972)

Walk free from the long shadows cast by small people.

— Fennel Hudson, A Writer’s Year – Fennel’s Journal – No. 3 (2008, 2017)

Those who spread their sails in the right way to the winds of the earth will always find themselves borne by a current towards the open seas. The more nobly a man wills and acts, the more avid he becomes for great and sublime aims to pursue. He will no longer be content with family, country and the remunerative aspect of his work. He will want wider organisations to create, new paths to blaze, causes to uphold, truths to discover, an ideal to cherish and defend. So, gradually, the worker no longer belongs to himself. Little by little the great breath of the universe has insinuated itself into him through the fissure of his humble but faithful action, has broadened him, raised him up, borne him on.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu: An Essay on the Interior Life; with Preface by Bernard Hall, General Editor of the Works of Teilhard de Chardin (2010)

~ Barista Uno

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