We don’t control the wind and the tide, but we can learn how to harness their power. Life doesn’t unfold in a straight line, not for me, for you, or for anyone. There will always be twists and turns and unexpected bumps in the road that we have to navigate. We need to believe in our ability to harness the wind and the tide, and sharpen our attitude and skills with which to do so.
Taking full responsibility instead of playing the victim card is essential to succeed in a world characterised by disruption on every corner. Whether it’s the coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest, automation, climate change, or a loss in your personal life, you must choose to ride the waves or drown. Ask yourself what skills you have, what your strengths are and what experiences you have had before, that have set you up for coping in this situation. How can you put them to good use to overcome whatever is happening now or to move forward from it?
You are never powerless. You always have a choice to move forward. Sometimes we give our past so much power that it holds us back, and we forget that our most powerful moment is the one we are in. What if a potential new employer or new life partner said, “I don’t care about your past. Everyone has a past, some more traumatic than others. What I am interested in, is what you choose to do now, and how you choose to do it.”
How are you harnessing or creatively responding to the wind and the tide at work, home and life today? It’s your choice. It’s always been your choice.
TAKEAWAYS FOR WINNING AT WORK
- The world is never ideal or perfect, and we don’t have choice over many things, including our boss, our team members, or who sits at the desk next to us. So, we have to learn how to work with what is.
- Where do you expend most of your thinking energy: in the past, the present or the future? We spend time in all three time zones, but being aware of the ratio can provide clues as to how present we are now. 70% in the past, 20% in the present and 10% in the future is probably symbolic of someone who wants to go back to the way things were and is not coping well with change.
- The choices and actions we take in this moment, inform and create our future.
- Do you have your past or does your past have you? You can overcome anything if you empower yourself with your choices today.
- Allow team members who have messed up, or who are struggling to write a new narrative, to change their choices and actions today.
- Encourage those around you to take responsibility, rather than playing the victim card.
- When people are in a tough spot, you need to empower them, rather than minimising them in the victim space. Develop their problem-solving muscle
TAKEAWAYS FOR WINNING AT HOME AND LIFE
- Explaining the wind and tide analogy and showing your children how sailors, kite surfers and paragliders harness the power of the wind and the tide, is a nice, concrete example to help your kids understand the power of action and choice in their lives.
- When things go wrong, ask them, “How are you harnessing the power of the wind and the tide in your life? Or are you letting these elements push you around?”
- Help your children to choose new attitudes or take different actions, in order to change the outcomes in any situation.
- A classic example is when they don’t get the teacher they want, they are put into a new class without their friends, or they don’t make a team they expected to make.
- Bring your family up to understand and believe that they always have the power of choice, no matter how tough situations and circumstances may be.
- Here is a lovely mantra to live by:
- You win or you lose by the way that you choose!