Winds of Change

by Lance Ekum on · 44 comments

Creative Commons License photo credit: serdir

“Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.” ~ August Hare

Wind.  It blows, sometimes in our favor, sometimes against us.

I  remember one particular day when I went out for an afternoon run.  The wind was blowing, at my back.  My run started so easy.  I felt like running was effortless (and it’s usually not).  It felt so good.  Cruising along.  And that all was fine and good, until I had to turn around and come home.  All of the sudden, running became much harder.  It was no longer easy, my pace much slower.  The wind, not at my back, was now a force to deal with instead of a push in the direction I was going.

And don’t we have these “winds” in our life.  Sometimes they blow in our favor, and sometimes they blow against us.  And both can be beneficial, if we allow them to be.

When we have winds blowing in our favor, the wind at our back, per se – everything is flowing very well.  Things in our life are clicking along.  At times, it feels effortless to get done whatever activity we’re working on.

And then, at other times, we face a strong headwind in our daily lives.  Those days when things just don’t go as planned.  The days when we stub our toe getting out of bed.  Burn our tongue drinking coffee.  Get a speeding ticket on our way to work.  And that’s all before 8 A.M in the morning.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those days when we just seem to know, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong.

And I say we embrace both of these “days” – the good, and the bad.  These are the winds that can bring lasting change into our lives.  If we choose to allow ourselves to accept these winds as opportunities to embrace them.

In the good, we can embrace the fact that we are able to cruise along and really enjoy the ride.  Sometimes it’s just nice to be able to savor the moments in life.  These are them.  We can ride these winds, steering our lives in the direction we desire.

In the bad, we can embrace the opportunities we have to learn and grow.  We may not learn much from stubbing our toe.  Or do we?  We learn where “not” to step.  To maybe turn on a light.  And more importantly, when we face the bigger challenges in our daily lives – when projects fail, when a meeting goes south, when a customer just won’t budge…these are times when we have great opportunity to learn and grow.  If we choose to.  The choice is ours, to embrace these moments – or not.  If we embrace these moments, these winds that are leading us to change our course, we have an awesome opportunity to really change our projects, our work, our lives.

The next time the winds of change blow in your life, how are you going to handle them?

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah September 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm

I really like your analogy. I’ve had days when the wind is blowing for me and days when it’s against. I guess if I keep running during the days when it’s hard, I’ll be stronger and be able to go further when the wind is helping me. Sometimes the wind in our favor is a nice break, needed after many uphill climbs.


Marelisa September 29, 2008 at 9:37 pm

Hi Lance: I guess it’s kind of like when we sled down hill. That part is fun, but then we have to trudge back up the hill. I guess you have to look at life as a cycle: in order to enjoy the sled ride down the hill, we have to be willing to do the work to walk up to the top of the hill.

Marelisas last blog post..27 Simple Ways to Simplify Your Life


Davina September 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Hi Lance. I liked the comparison you’ve made here. That run really inspired you. I honestly don’t enjoy windy days unless I’m indoors. Then I like to watch the trees. If I did enjoy windy days I’d probably own a kite. When change happens in my life it’s easier to face it when it is a change I’ve “chosen”, rather than one that has been “forced” on me.

Davinas last blog post..Free Spirit My Ass!


Robin September 29, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Hi Lance – I love the flags image.

Going with the winds is like going with the flow, isn’t it! It’s quite an art form to know when to pursue something that’s difficult and when to change course.

Robins last blog post..Ice And Global Warming


bobbi September 30, 2008 at 12:10 am

You nailed it! “If we embrace these moments, these winds that are leading us to change our course, we have an awesome opportunity to really change our projects, our work, our lives.” We get to choose how we will handle situations. I try and always look at hard times as molding and shaping moments. I am only clay that needs a potter, and I need constant molding in my life. It makes me stronger, more the wiser, and keeps me in check!


meleah rebeccah September 30, 2008 at 12:11 am

“Sometimes they blow in our favor, and sometimes they blow against us. And both can be beneficial, if we allow them to be.”

I totally needed to hear that today, Thank you.

meleah rebeccahs last blog post..Difficult Times Call For Drastic Measures


Glee Girl September 30, 2008 at 4:32 am

Nice analogy. Funny, I was just thinking on the way home today that things are going so well in my life at the moment – a nice tail wind! – and I must be about due for a hiccup. But I’ve got though the headwinds before so I know I’ll be fine if it happens.

As you say, tough times are a great opportunities for personal growth – they are arguably our best oportunity for growth. As Helen Keller said, ‘Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved.’

Glee Girls last blog post..Culinary achievements and soccer dog


Evelyn Lim September 30, 2008 at 5:28 am

I like the use of the direction of the wind to illustrate how we can go with the flow and how we can embrace the bad, when it is against us. It’ll be nice to always have the wind blow in our favor; but as we all know, the wind can change course and some things are just beyond our control. Every situation, good and difficult, is really an invitation to us to ride the winds in the best way possible or to oppose them.

Evelyn Lims last blog post..Soul Revelations From Past Life Memories


BC Doan September 30, 2008 at 6:12 am

Wonderful analogy…going against the wind is always harder than going along with it..


Urban Panther September 30, 2008 at 8:06 am

I try to think of wind as my friend when I’m running, I really really do. My strategy for wind in my face is to tell myself that I am getting a better workout because of the resistance, and that it’s good preparation in case I run a race that involves wind blowing right at me. This is the running dialogue I have with myself while I am bent almost double pushing myself forward. Same is true to tough life events. I just keep up a running dialogue until I’ve made it through. I may not be thinking to kindly about the wind (real and virtual) as it’s blowing, but I’m always proud of myself once I make it through.

Urban Panthers last blog post..Airport shenanigans


Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul September 30, 2008 at 8:14 am

I think perhaps that when the wind is blowing against us, we need to turn around! It is usually our own resistance that creates struggle … who knows, maybe that “unfavorable” wind is blowing us exactly where we need to go, even though we hadn’t planned it that way …



Dave Jones, CPA September 30, 2008 at 8:32 am

As we progress through life, we all have our struggles against the wind. These struggles make us stronger and we know we can make it through them. Soon if we keep fighting , we will be riding a tail wind again.


Tammy Warren September 30, 2008 at 9:46 am

I am slowly coming to terms with this. I use to build up a little hidden anger when things weren’t always moving in the direction in which I thought they should. Now, I seem to just let things fall where they may when I have decided that the battle is not worth the fight. Not all battles…I am still stubborn. It guess it is letting the simple things go. Things that might bring hard feelings, etc. are sometimes worth a change of action or path. Things are not always bad on the harder side. A lesson learned is a big thing. I hope that my teenage son has a great deal of lessons that he will learn and retain.

Great post again.

Tammy Warrens last blog post..Was that a compliment? Think about it.


Maya September 30, 2008 at 10:00 am

When the winds blow against me, they really bring out a different side of me …a fighter, a creative being ….

Like you said, as hard as it is to have the “wind blowing in my face”, I try to remember that if I last it, good things WILL come.

Perfectly timed post … esp since I have recently started marathon training – your post makes perfect sense even when taken literally 🙂

Mayas last blog post..Are we taking the time to meditate?


M September 30, 2008 at 10:20 am

“The next time the winds of change blow in your life, how are you going to handle them?” I will try to savor the push forward and learn from push backwards….Great post!


MizFit September 30, 2008 at 11:57 am

get a kite and enjoy the ride.

MizFits last blog post..Tuesday Tips, TestDrive & a Twirl (at your request a twirl).


Daniel Allen / The Efficiancy Proposal September 30, 2008 at 12:26 pm

This blog post just shows how a post of yours can be short and to the point. The fact that this post was so good and the fact that it was so short just proves how it’s possible to write an outstanding post so smoothly. I applaud you, an extremely stellar post.

Daniel Allen / The Efficiancy Proposals last blog post..7 Reasons To Exercise


Lance September 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

@Sarah – I agree Sarah, we get stronger when we keep going into those headwinds, and it’s a nice break when it’s a tailwind. Both can be so beneficial for our success in life…

@Marelisa – Great point, comparing it to sledding. The ride down is the fun part, but we’d never get to do the fun part, if we didn’t climb the hill first. Important to remember – that we have to put in the hard work to reap the benefits.

@Davina – Forced vs. chosen. Yes, I think most of us would choose the “chosen” winds. When they’re forced upon us (and it happens), it isn’t always fun. However, they can be great learning opportunities, and much growth can take place. But I know exactly where you’re coming from – it’s not something we hope happens to us, those forced winds of change…

@Robin – Yes, that is a really cool picture! When it’s us choosing our “winds of change”, yes it can be an art form to choose correctly. But still, if we don’t, we can learn and move on.

@Bobbi – “as molding and shaping moments” — what a great way to look at these times, Bobbi! With that attitude, you will go far. And, I love the comparison to clay. We ARE molded, both by what we do and what we don’t do. How we become molded isn’t so much all the “things” have have occurred in our lives as much as how we responded to those “things”. Thanks for sharing this analogy.

@Meleah – I’m so glad to hear it helped! No matter how the “winds” are blowing in your life today, have a super Tuesday!

@Glee Girl – Thanks for sharing the Helen Keller quote – a perfect fit for this post today. And, I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the “wind at your back” right now. Those truly are times to savor!

@Evelyn – That’s right, we can’t always control how the winds will blow in our life. But we can control how we act based upon them. And that’s what is important. That’s what will shape us into the individuals we are!

@BC Doan – Thank you!

@Urban Panther – My take on what you wrote – look for the positives. And I think that is so important. Even with winds against us, there are positives, if we look deep enough. Good luck with the running (into the wind, or with it to your back)!

@Andrea – Two great points. Sometimes, when the wind is blowing against us, turning around is the best thing we can do. Sometimes the best solution is to go back. Re-evaluate what we’re doing. The other – that this wind is blowing us where we need to go – so true. And we may not realize it until we are “there”.

@Dave – That’s another great point – these winds against us definitely make us stronger if we embrace them and work through them.

@Tammy – Yes, not all battles are worth fighting. And yet others, are worth fighting with all you’ve got to give. If we can recognize these for what they are, and fight the ones worth fighting – we lift ourselves and others up. Thanks for sharing that concept Tammy…

@Maya – If we “can” embrace the changes these winds bring, we can become more creative in the whole process. Creative in learning how to deal with these winds. And the cool thing is, that creativity can make us much better (person, worker, etc). Good luck on the marathon training – that’s awesome!!

@Mark – Great attitude about these winds Mark!

@MizFit – I love it! And make it a big, bright, cool-looking kite!

@Daniel – Thank you for your kind words!


Writer Dad September 30, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Every day makes us who we are. Some are more important than the others, but the bad ones teach us patience, humility, or one of the other hundred emotions that keep us balanced. It’s just as important to handle a bad day with grace as it is a good day with joy.

Writer Dads last blog post..Hi, My Name is Sean (Not Seen).


Stacey Shipman September 30, 2008 at 1:07 pm

When the wind is against us, it’s easy to give up. When I’m running and the wind is in my face, I’ve learned to lift my head and really feel it. I’m now alive, invigorated. Deep down I know the challenge is worthy, and I can’t help but smile as I think to myself “you can get through this.” It is part of the cycle. Things cannot always be smooth.

Stacey Shipmans last blog post..Enjoy each day…and the weekend!


Jennifer September 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Very nice Lance. I notice the same thing about the wind when I’m out with my dog every day.

I appreciated Andrea’s comment about how sometimes we just need to listen to the resistance and turn around. Sometimes we just need to change something.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by W. Clement Stone: “For every adversity there is a seed of equal or greater benefit.” Sometimes we just have to look real hard for it.

Jennifers last blog post..Heroes of Healing: Ron Wilkins


Julie September 30, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Welcome reminder, Lance.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that, more often than not, it’s what’s going on inside that brings up the obstacles, and when I change my thinking and how I’m being, then the obstacles either ease up or disappear.

Robin and Bobbi have it right: Unless we are “going with the flow”, we’ll feel the obstacles. And “embracing” means accepting and understanding that this is an opportunity to get us back on our own right path.

Thank you for the reminders.

Julies last blog post..Somewhere On The Circle


Cath Lawson September 30, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Hi Lance – i guess when things are going badly – at least we can remind ourselves we’re learning from it. I suppose – if things were going well all the time – it would be boring, as it would mean we weren’t really learning much at all.


chris September 30, 2008 at 8:13 pm

The will of the wind is strong so instead of opposing it, you must befriend it…

chriss last blog post..Jack Of All Trades


Jamie Simmerman September 30, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Beautiful analogy. I like your point of view.

Jamie Simmermans last blog post..Pick the Brains of Top Bloggers!


Vered - MomGrind September 30, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I agree that difficult times can shape your personality and help you improve yourself just as much as good times. It’s natural to hope for good times, of course, but to always make the most of hard times.


Barbara Swafford September 30, 2008 at 9:58 pm

Hi Lance,

I love the analogy. It’s so true. I try to learn from the rough times, and if I look deep enough, I can usually find “the lesson”. This does remind me of our business. When the day starts out bad, things break, nothing that is done, is done right, my husband “calls it a day”. In the past when he bucked those off days and continued on, inevitably it was a day of lost income, and too many costly mistakes. Now he just says, “we’ll start fresh tomorrow”.

Barbara Swaffords last blog post..NBOTW – Helping You – Helping Others


Annette September 30, 2008 at 10:50 pm

I tend to look at change now….even the bad… an opportunity to grow and learn. It’s all in the way you look at things. Some days are easier than others, but with a positive attitude I feel I can get through any wind……and these KS winds are a killer sometimes!

Annettes last blog post..Weekly Check In


Lance October 1, 2008 at 4:31 am

@Writer Dad – Great point, handling a bad day with grace. This is something that just comes naturally to all of us. It’s something we learn from practice. And it’s also a choice we have. Thanks for sharing that thought Sean.

@Stacey – To really “feel” it – I like that concept. Whether we are literally running into the wind, or figuratively. To really feel it makes us more acutely aware of it. And, I think this helps us to accept it, or choose to turn in a different direction. But our awareness is the key. I can’t help but smile too. At the opportunities that present themselves, if we’re only looking up to really see them…

@Jennifer – Yes, Andrea had a very good point. Turning around can sometimes be the best solution, if we are aware that it is an option. Thanks, Jennifer, also for sharing that quote by W. Clement Stone. The seeds are there…

@Julie – The internal issues that cause the winds to blow against us – yes. What a wonderful point Julie. Many of these winds are caused because of internal issues we have going on, not just external forces upon us. A good point to remember, that sometimes what this means is that we need to change ourselves first go get back and going with the flow…

@Cath – Yes, life would be boring if we didn’t shake it up once in a while! Sometimes the winds are just what we need. What we need to get moving in a new and exciting direction!

@Chris – Yes, if we see “wind” as our friend, we have the opportunity to makes any of these “winds” a chance to learn and grow…

@Jamie – Thanks!

@Vered – The attitude you have is one which does embrace all the opportunities that each of these winds bring. And attitude and beliefs can play such an important role in how we really deal with these “winds”…

@Barbara – You make such a great point Barbara. Sometimes, we just have to say, let’s start over. Sometimes going on is not the answer. Realizing this, though, is not always an easy thing to do.

@Annette – Yes, you have some “real” winds don’t you!! Seeing the winds as the opportunities that they are – that’s the key…


Pink Ink October 1, 2008 at 11:28 am

Sometimes you have to create your own wind. It’s just as hard being in a gale as it is stranded in the middle of the ocean wondering when the wind will pick up again. By all means, row! 🙂

Pink Inks last blog post..Doing the Happy Dance


Jennifer October 1, 2008 at 11:50 am

I couldn’t help but think of your post this morning as it was the first cool morning of the season here and the cold wind was blowing against me. 🙂

Jennifers last blog post..Heroes of Healing: Ron Wilkins


Meribeth October 1, 2008 at 2:58 pm

This is great. You can always join us in WOWY if you need motivation. Love you thoughts as usual.

Meribeths last blog post..Stupid Eating!


Dave Fowler October 1, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Lance, now that my sails have been extended as far as they’ll go I find myself much more susceptible to the winds of change. Not just on a daily basis but also on an hourly basis. It’s amazing how quickly things can change in a day, it’s like riding the peaks and troughs of a stormy sea.

My rather clumsy attempt at following your analogy is an attempt to say that this kind of rapid change can badly affect my motivation if I let it. I did let it today and wasted an hour being angry about something. I should listen to you more closely Lance! Thank you.

Dave Fowlers last blog post..Why I Want To Feel Hungry


Jean Browman--Transforming Stress October 1, 2008 at 4:49 pm

My favorite prayer when things don’t go the way I would like is

“Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity I sure hope You know what You’re doing.”

It means I don’t have to like what’s going on, but I’m willing to look for the opportunity in the situation.

The Traits of Stress-Hardy, Resilient People expect that life will present challenges and gives guidelines about we can be proactive and prepare ourselves ahead of time.

Jean Browman–Transforming Stresss last blog post..What Particle Accelerators Taught Me About Life


Stacey / Create a Balance October 1, 2008 at 9:21 pm

At first, I was resisting the wind in your story that you were forced to deal with during your run. Then you helped me see the light. You reminded me to embrace the opportunities I have to learn and grow. Maybe I’ve been so sleepy lately because of all of the learning and growing I am experiencing these days. When the “winds of change blow” in my life, it is grounding to know I have lessons to learn with each of these experiences.

Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..Two Truths and a Lie


FitMom October 1, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Totally agree with Stacey.

The winds have been in MY face for the last month and the focus is how to handle it in a positive thoughtful learning experience kind of way.
Great post.

FitMoms last blog post..How to run injury free! An interview with Marni Cota, PT


Simple Sapien October 1, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Gosh… in my life when the wind is blowing in my favor I forget to appreciate and when the wind is against me, I fall and give up. I need to change that. I love your metaphor. You are a great writer, keep it up! I am jealous, hehe.

– Jack Rugile
Simple Sapien

Simple Sapiens last blog post..Forget Recognition, Always Do Your Best


Lance October 2, 2008 at 7:21 am

@Pink Ink – Hey, I love that analogy! Sometimes no wind can be a bad thing too – it means we’re not moving. Important to remember for those times when we think the wind is too much – too little can have the same effect if we let it.

@Jennifer – And that makes me think – the cold wind – that sometimes these winds in our life are what we need to “wake up” and really get ourselves spurred on into new directions. Continue to enjoy the walks Jennifer…

@Meribeth – Thanks! You had me confused for a bit with WOWY! That’s a workout program, right? Workouts are a great way to bring some change (like a good wind) into your life…

@Dave – I think we all have moments like that Dave. Moments where we’re affected by the winds of change – in detrimental ways – because we allow it. I appreciate your comments, and you building me up, but the truth is – you heart knows Dave – and that you should listen to as well.

@Jean – And the thing is, He does know what he’s doing, even if we can’t always see that…

@Stacey/Create a Balance – I think you hit upon a real key to this whole point. We can resist the wind, we can go back inside (ourselves) and avoid the wind – but when we embrace these winds – we have the opportunity to experience growth and learning. If we allow it.

@FitMom – Sometimes we go in long stretches one way or another don’t we. By looking at it the way your are, thorough the positive that can come from it, you’ll be so much better off in the long run (as in marathon!!!).

@Simple Sapien – We all forget at times to appreciate what we have when things are going good Jack. And we’ve all fallen and given up too. The thing is, we can learn from these moments. And the next time we’re faced with these winds, we’ll be ready to face them head on! Thanks for your kind words Jack!


Laurie October 3, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Nice analogy Lance. You are so right. We can learn from our mistakes. ONce you get over having the mistake it is a good thing to go back and reflect on what happened and how did you contribute to it.


Lance October 4, 2008 at 6:30 am

Laurie, yes – we can learn from our mistakes. If we allow ourselves to. Getting to the point of seeing that mistakes aren’t all bad can sometimes be difficult, but when we get there, there is so much good that can come from it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!!


Paunchiness October 6, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for the post… I’ve been looking around the internet for some inspiration because it’s felt like the wind has been in my sails for a long time. Now I’m getting nervous as the dow slides lower and I feel like I could be stuck in the middle of the ocean without anything to push me along.

Paunchinesss last blog post..Goose Eggs


Lance October 7, 2008 at 3:41 am

Paunchiness, hang in there. When we face tough times, it really can be difficult to keep moving forward. Be confident in the decisions you make, and adjust as necessary. With the Dow continuing to fall, it’s easy for many of us to feel “stuck”. The best we can do is to keep moving – sometimes even if it’s not forward – until we have weathered the storm that’s out there.


Liara Covert December 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm

Lance, if we did not have opportunities to experience the ‘winds of change’ then I believe life would have far less meaning. Its encouraging that you discuss this kind of a topic because so many people fear change, fear the unknown and what it represents. Your blog invites people to feel more comfortable with their personal learning process.

Liara Covert´s last blog post..What if you are not waiting for anything?


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