Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's Your Wind?

2010 was a tumultuous year for a lot of reasons. At the end of the year I saw quite a few stories in newspapers and magazines offering thanks that 2010 and the decade it completed were over.

I’m with’em. 2009 and ’10 were incredibly difficult and I’m glad to see them in my rearview mirror.

During the last two weeks I’ve been asking myself, “What did I learn last year?” so, hopefully, I don’t make the same mistakes again.

Interestingly, my lesson came at the very end of the year while watching Fareed Zakiara’s show, GPS (Global Public Square). On a special show about leadership, Richard C. Levin, president of Yale University, said, “It’s easier to lead with the wind at your back.”

I immediately wrote down the comment. It’s a sailing term. It means that the wind is pushing you along rather than you having to tack back and forth (work harder) to catch the wind.

I quickly realized that, not only is it easier to lead with the wind at your back, LIFE is easier with the wind at your back.

But, here’s the interesting part as I interpret it: Wind means different things to different people. And your wind might change depending on where you are in life.

Wind for some folks might be money. It’s usually easier to get along in life if you have some. For others, it might be a relationship. As long as you feel secure in your primary relationship you can deal with the slings and arrows of life. Wind might be spiritual beliefs, good health, a job; it’s the primary thing needed to feel secure and content so that you can address the other challenges in life.

I now understand what my wind is.

What’s your wind?

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