I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Where are you going?
Are you certain of that?
What happens if….
Navigating our way through life would appear at outset as a path that is set, followed and achieved. It is how we were taught that the world works. We learn that the great age of exploration is paved by explorers who charted a course and set off to achieve their objective. We see giants who have risen from obscurity to the highest ranks of society and we are infatuated with their success. From the outside looking in, all of these experiences look linear.
Life appears linear because time is linear. But, just as Darwin was quick to illuminate that survival of the species boils down to those who were most fit, it also proves that the winning combination is always the ones who can adapt and modify their efforts with the tides of change. Adaptability it appears is the formula for survival and only those who are capable of seeing the issue and adapting to it are the ones who prevail.
There are millions of stories of those who were at a breaking point, holding on with the tiniest amount of metaphorical oxygen left to breath who came right back with a giant winning move. And those who were severely impaired and looked past the impairment to achieve brilliance beyond measure. My favorite is Beethoven writing his 9th symphony while most of his hearing had already been lost. How does genius on that level prevail?
It starts with an undeniable desire to prevail at all costs. An internal focus that says, “regardless of circumstance, there must be a way to achieve my goal.”
We all have been put to that test in the last couple years. Covid came out of nowhere and completely pulled the rug out from underneath all of our plans, our dreams, our aspirations and our desires. For some, it was the death knell, and for others, it was a course correction to still get to where they are headed. Again, there are millions of examples, but the ones that shine are the ones where someone found time during the pandemic to create a new value in their life. They saw the circumstances for what they are and made a determined effort to ensure that they would emerge on the other side victorious.
During the olympics, I watched the commercials about the olympian gold medalist who is missing part of an arm and it set me back, as it was expected to do. I could not help but contemplate what I would be willing to try to accomplish under similar circumstances.
In my work with Two Two Art, I have become familiar with Alder Crocker who is an 85% quadriplegic who has no control of his hands or fingers and reinvented himself in the last three years since becoming a quadriplegic as a painter.
I cannot help but pause and study those who overcome the massive obstacle to become successful in areas that would have appeared out of bounds and still prevailed. There is a magic to that exposure. It galvanizes the soul and strengthens one’s internal resolve to come out of a tumultuous period and regain composure so that we might best continue to accelerate towards our own goal.
The wind will always change. Sometimes it is even non existent. And when there is no wind, row.