Ships Don’t Sink Because of Water Around Them: Explained

In life, we often face challenges and difficulties that can weigh us down and make us feel overwhelmed. It can be tempting to let our surroundings and circumstances affect us, but this quote reminds us that it is not the water around us that sinks us, but the water that gets inside us. In other words, it is not what happens to us that determines our fate, but how we react to it. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the meaning behind this quote and explore how we can apply it in our daily lives.

The Origin of the Quote:

The origin of this quote is unknown, but it is often attributed to a variety of sources, including Zig Ziglar, an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker. Regardless of its origin, the message is clear: we should not let external circumstances control our internal state. We have the power to control how we react to our surroundings and, ultimately, the outcome of our lives.

The Meaning Behind the Quote:

At its core, this quote is about resilience and the ability to overcome adversity. It reminds us that we have a choice in how we respond to challenging situations. We can either let the difficulties around us seep into our minds and hearts, or we can choose to rise above them and maintain a positive outlook.

The water around a ship represents the challenges and obstacles that we face in life. It can be rough and turbulent, but it is not what ultimately determines the fate of the ship. Rather, it is the water that gets inside the ship that can cause it to sink. Similarly, it is the negativity and self-doubt that we allow to enter our minds that can weigh us down and prevent us from reaching our full potential.

When we allow external factors to dictate our internal state, we give away our power. We become passive observers of our lives rather than active participants. However, when we take control of our thoughts and emotions, we can steer our lives in the direction we desire.

How to Apply the Quote in Daily Life:

Applying the message of this quote in our daily lives can be a powerful tool for personal growth and development. Here are some tips for how to do so:

  1. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the moment. By focusing on the present, we can avoid becoming consumed by past regrets or future worries.
  2. Build a positive mindset: Surround yourself with positive influences, whether that be supportive friends and family or uplifting books and podcasts. Make a conscious effort to cultivate a positive mindset, and practice gratitude for the good things in your life.
  3. Take action: When faced with a difficult situation, take action to address the issue rather than becoming overwhelmed by it. Break the problem down into smaller, more manageable steps, and focus on making progress rather than achieving perfection.
  4. Practice self-care: Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, such as exercise, reading, or spending time in nature.
  5. Seek support: Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. Whether that be from a trusted friend or family member, a therapist, or a support group, seeking support can help you navigate challenging situations with greater ease.

Other Ways to Interpret the Quote:

While the central message of the quote is about resilience and overcoming adversity, there are many other ways to interpret its meaning. Here are a few examples:

  1. Don’t let external circumstances define you: It can be easy to fall into the trap of allowing external factors, such as social status or material possessions, to define our sense of self-worth. However, true happiness and fulfillment come from within.
  2. Protect your inner peace: In a world that can be chaotic and overwhelming, it is important to protect our inner peace. This means setting boundaries and saying no to things that don’t serve us, prioritizing self-care, and cultivating a sense of calm and serenity in our daily lives.
  3. Don’t let fear hold you back: Fear can be a powerful force that can hold us back from pursuing our dreams and taking risks. However, when we let fear control us, we limit our potential and miss out on opportunities for growth and success.
  4. Control what you can control: While we can’t control everything that happens in our lives, we can control how we respond to it. By focusing on what we can control, such as our thoughts and actions, we can navigate challenges with greater ease and resilience.


The quote “Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down” is a powerful reminder that we have the power to control our reactions to external circumstances. By choosing to maintain a positive mindset, take action, and seek support when needed, we can overcome adversity and navigate life’s challenges with greater ease and resilience. So, let us all take inspiration from this quote and strive to protect our inner peace, cultivate positivity, and take control of our lives.

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