What follows is an exerpt from my book, Who Rows Your Boat: How you can be happier than you can possibly imagine. Use these thoughts to expand your horizon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=books+dr.+michael+f.+conrad

Who Rows Your Boat?

Who Rows Your Boat?
If your life is a boat, there are only two ways for you to travel. Your life is like a rowboat on the undulating seas of change. You have only two options in this boat, you can be a passenger, or you can be a rower.


  • A passenger is just along for the ride.
  • A passenger uses the boat to get where they are going.
  • Passengers don’t worry about how to get there, just their destination.
  • Passengers don’t own the boat, they are just users. Who will guarantee your safety, if there are holes in the boat? Who knows the way through rough seas? “You pay your money and you take your chances”


  • A Rower is one who works to move the boat.
  • The Rower uses the boat to as a means to get to a desirable end.
  • The Rower fixes the boat if there is a hole in it, knows how to navigate in rough seas, and how to ensure the safety of any other passengers. You have two choices: you can be a rower or you can be a passenger. One of these will get you to Heaven

Own your own boat.

You are the only you, you have. Unless you believe in reincarnation, you have just seventy or eighty years to learn something, to do something, and to be someone. One thing is for sure, the time passes quicker than you can possibly imagine.

Ron had gone through college to please his parents. He went to church to please his parents. He got married to please his wife’s parents. He got a job with a company he did not like, so his wife could be near her mom and dad. Ron wanted children, while she kept putting it off. Ron was now in his early fifties. His wife was nearing the big “5-0”, with two face lifts, a breast augmentation, and two liposuctions behind her. She looked sixty. Ron looked like a young man. His black hair had not grayed. He had a stylish beard. He had a good job with the Federal Government. One day, Ron experienced his first genuine, panic attack. He had to stay home that day. Being alone, he wondered why he was so upset. He kept thinking of all the things he wanted to do but never got a chance because of pleasing someone else. Ron was a passenger on the boats of other people near him. At the age of fifty-three, he just discovered how to row his own boat. He was lucky he did not wait another ten years to discovered that secret. Your boat is your transportation to Forever. Don’t blow it! Who Rows Your Boat?

Row your own boat.
Denise was going to be a lawyer. She was in college to learn as much as she could. Denise, because she was focused, had no problems coming out the other end of the conveyor belt of schooling, ready for Law School. Here are some of the lessons that Denise learned along the way.

You can tell true friends, not by what they say they will do, but by what they accomplish.

Religion may seem boring only because you have not dug deep enough to get past your own prejudices from high school. Don’t stay buried in the soil.

Mud thrown is ground lost.

There is more to sexual intercourse than copulation. Monkeys can procreate. They cannot form relationships. Humans discover and nourish relationships.

There is a purpose to life, even if you don’t know what it is.

Humans are destined to live in a place of pure knowledge, pure love, and pure service. Rowing your own boat means you will need to practice living in all three universes to discover the mystery of pure energy, and how you can tap into it.

Rowing Takes Work

You must row your own boat. You are accountable for your own destiny, when you stand before the Master. He will ask you to give an accounting of your stewardship. Will you offer some lame excuse like, “My parents never forced me to go to church when I was young?” Going to church has nothing to do with spirituality. Spirituality gives direction to religion. When you die, you will be asked if you discovered the reason why you are here. Don’t blow your chance while you live. Take charge of your destiny. You, and you alone, will be one-to-one with the Big One, the I AM, or pure energy. So, while you still have time. Start your spiritual wealth planning. Learn what you need to do to store up treasures in that big computer of your mind. You need to row, row, row your boat. That takes work, but it also takes someone to help you.

√ ROW YOUR BOAT on earth to gain as much true knowledge as you can.

√ ROW YOUR BOAT, while you have time, to find out the true meaning of love.

√ ROW YOUR BOAT to discover that you are an extension of the Master on earth and that you must give true, unconditional service to your family, friends, and community.

Who Rows Your Boat?

Rowing takes work. You must row your own boat.

Know the Song, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat?”

Row, Row, Row Your Boat…gently down the stream.

Who Rows Your Boat?

How should you row your boat? Why, gently down the stream, of course. Life is too short to worry over the small stuff. To row gently means to take your time and you relish the view. If you have an authentic center, this will make you happy, and you have the side benefit of discovering the Kingdom of Heaven.

Luis had come to the United States from Mexico. He studied archeology at a the University of Colorado. The lure of money was a distraction that Luis did not have. He came from a family that was very poor in material goods but rich in its reverence for learning and his Mexican heritage. His goal in life was never to make money, only to discover the truth about his ancient past. Luis was most happy when he was in the field on an archeological dig, without any conveniences, and without dependence on electronic devices. Luis was a devoted family man, relishing the time he spent with his family. He considered one of his life goals to share the spiritual heritage his mother and father left to him with his children and friends. Luis was a gentle man with a passion for his family, for life, and for archeology. Read Matthew 12:28-30.

When you row your boat, how should you act? Does the word “merrily” always mean happy, smiling at misfortune, or putting on a happy face? Maybe! It is hard to sustain being happy for a long period of time. You fall back on your default, the ups and downs of daily toil.

Franco just lost both of his parents in a fire that destroyed the family home. He had two other sisters that consoled him and with whom he could share his grief. Franco was a deacon in his local church. Newly ordained, he went through stages of grief on three levels. He suffered pain and loss on the physical level. He was aware of his pain. Something else was bothering him. He kept asking why this happened. This was loss on the mental level. Franco tried to make sense out of all the situations in which he found himself. He worked through his emotional grief and his mental grief until he received enlightenment. The spiritual level, he discovered, is the answer to the other two universes, the physical and the mental. The spiritual level states: Happy are they who mourn; they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:5) Franco is spiritually happy. Happy is another word for merrily.

When you row your boat, how should you act?

How should you row your boat? … merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.

Life is but a dream.
Is life nothing but a dream? Is reality just a fantasy? Is what is real on only on Reality TV? You need to know the difference.
When Faye Ann and Lester were young newly weds, they would dream together of a time when they would have a small cottage farm, complete with barn, some horses, sheep, chickens, and a few goats to keep down the weeds. That never happened. Lester had to work on the farm his father left him. Faye Ann worked in town at the bank as a teller. They had no horses, chickens, or goats. As they got older, Lester and Faye Ann dreamed of retiring to a small coastal village in Florida where they could spend their hours watching the Gulf of Mexico. Both Lester and Faye Ann were under no illusions about getting such a retirement home. They resolved to make life worth living each and every day. Each day, they would start their days with a simple prayer to do God’s will that day. The retirement home was a dream for them. The reality was what happened to them each day, not what would happen ten years from now. They were happy.

You are your boat.

Denise had been in a wheelchair, ever since she could remember anything. She had Cerebral Palsy. Her parents raised her to challenge herself with the seemingly impossible. She went to high school, finished college with a major in business, and became a consultant for a large manufacturing company on issues such as diversity, the American’s with Disabilities Act, and organizational effectiveness. Denise never thought of herself as disabled but rather enabled. Just as someone who does not have sight compensates for the lack of that one sense, Denise compensated for her lack of motor functions.

On the side, she started a not-for-profit company to help other people challenge themselves to identify what was meaningful for them, and to pursue it. Denise would not settle for someone else rowing her boat. Sink or swim, she was in charge of her destiny. Denise set life goals for herself and began meeting them. She went on to teach swimming at a small private college. Denise embraced life rather than complain about it. She rowed her own boat. Her parents merely taught her how to navigate.

Only you can row your boat.
You can be a passenger in the boat of others, or you can row your own boat. It you wish to get to Heaven, you must row your own boat. Of all the people in the world, you are unique.

When Veronica had a run-in with her parents, she was so infuriated that they would not trust her, when she stayed out until 2:00 AM, that she left the house in a huff. Her parents wanted her to go to church. She refused. Her parents wanted her to get a job. She procrastinated. Veronica spent the majority of her young life reacting to her parents. She rejected a set of religious beliefs that she did not understand. She wanted to be independent. She left home at 18 and joined the military. Veronica was in charge of her career, but did not take responsibility for her life. She kept making decisions based on her reaction to what others thought she should do. Veronica had the ability to go any direction she wanted, but was impaired because of reacting to what friends thought she should do. Veronica wanted to row her own boat. It was not until she was in her 50’s that she realized what was going on. You don’t have to wait that long.

You only have one boat, so take care of it well.
All the rowers in the world won’t help you, if your boat has a hole in it. Like your kitchen, you must clean it, doing the dishes every day. The alternative is to live in filth that you, yourself have created.

If I would look in your bedroom closet, what would I find? Is it a disaster? Is there chaos? Do you iron your clothes or just throw them into the closet? Do you even care? You should! As your closet is, so is your life. Well, maybe not exactly, but it will give you cause to think about putting things in order. You must constantly keep your kitchen and your closet clean, or what happens? Dirt rules! The more dirt you let sit, the more you will have to clean up later.

“Row well and live.” –Ben Hur

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