Going with (or against) the wind


The wind is a powerful thing. It can destroy or give life; it can hinder or help; it can be harnessed, or not; it can speed up or slow down. Depending upon your purpose or direction, the wind can help or hurt. I used to know a man that always said upon a good-bye, “May the wind always be at your back.” Of course, the inference is that most things in life are better when you are working with the wind, not against it.

Following are a few quotes on the wind that will help me make a few key points later on:

  • “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
  • “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford
  • “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn
  • “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” – Bruce Lee
  • “To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must not drift or lie at anchor.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • “A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.” – Lewis Mumford


So, to me, here are several key points about the wind that can help us at work, at home, or at anything we choose to do:

  1. Going with the wind often makes things better, easier, and faster – We all want the wind at our back when we are faced with a challenge. I have actually been on plane trips that varied 1 or 2 hours because of the winds. Those early arrivals are nice! However, sometimes it is not easy to determine which way the wind is blowing in order to enjoy its benefits. Sometimes we just need to relax and let the wind take us where it will and not fight it. Allowing the wind to do its work may be all you need to get relief from some of the issues you face.
  2. Depending on our purpose, going against the wind is often required – As you can see from several of the quotes above, going against the wind can help us or may be necessary. We cannot always have the wind at our back. In the sailing examples, it is often necessary to go against the wind to achieve your goal. But, you have to know your purpose to take advantage of that wind in your face. Do you need the wind in your face to slow you down or to help guide your journey? Sometimes that wind can actually keep you from moving too fast in one direction, especially when it is the wrong direction. Think about your purpose and whether the winds you face might actually be helping you.
  3. We must choose wisely when to go against the wind – There are times when we need to intentionally place ourselves in a situation going against the wind. For example, when you have an opposing view, you sometimes need to make that view known. We should not always just go along with the crowd. Think about that opposing wind and consider when it is worth the effort and risk to go face first into it. Your view could make all the difference!
  4. Wind can weaken us, but it often makes us stronger – When planting a new, young tree, it is often a good idea to use braces or stakes to keep the wind from blowing it over. However, there is a time when you need to remove the stakes because the wind forces the young tree to grow deeper and stronger roots. The same holds for us. Sometimes those ill winds we face are actually making us stronger and helping us to grow. Don’t dismiss every wind as something to divert or eliminate. Consider how opposition is making you stronger.
  5. We may need to intentionally harness the wind to take advantage of it – Controlling the wind takes effort. Failing to control it, when necessary, can take us far off course or even destroy us. There are times when you need to take steps to reduce the negative impact of the winds you face. You don’t always have to be like a feather in the wind going to and fro as it dictates. Find a way to shield yourself from the wind or establish an anchor to help you withstand it. Often, a friend can help be that shield or anchor.

We should not automatically view wind as a negative in our lives. The winds may blow, but it can work to our advantage or, at the very least, make us stronger. Take a moment to look at the winds currently blowing in your life. Is it helping or hurting you? Are you fighting it or trying to harness it to your advantage? Do you have a family member or friend that you might help anchor against the wind? Today might be a good day to begin looking at wind in a new way.

Thanks for everything you do to make this a better world. Have a really good day today! And, hold onto your hat!


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