The Winds of Change

Jimmy Dean said, “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

This seems a great quote to for my “change” blog.

Whenever Affectus puts this quote to the groups we work with when we are discussing challenging situations we are amazed by the insightful and quirky responses. ..“You can always turn on the motor” “Working with the wind can often give you more speed” “You can always just drop the sails”.  These are just three of hundreds of insights.

However, when I consider this quote I think first about the elements of the quote – that is insightful in itself. How does my brain work when I see change?

Tips on what to consider when the winds of change are blowing.

The first tip when considering the wind of change is…what does my brain do when I feel/hear the wind of change? What does your brain consider when the wind of change can be heard?

When I consider the quote I do think about the elements…is this a gust? Or it is a hurricane? Or is it a gentle breeze that might take me somewhere new but not foreseen. Then my second tip is to consider the wind of change. Is it really change or just a gust or bluster that needs to be considered, but the direction you are heading still has a solid bearing?

I also think about the words "can’t" and "can" in the quote and again I think about my headspace. It is only a “t”, a tiny “t”, that makes such a difference to the whole context of the quote. My third tip is to consider when the wind of change is really blowing and should you think “can’t” when perhaps you need to seek out someone who thinks “can”.

There is then the word direction…what is south and north? And east and west for that matter? Do they matter?

My forwards is another's backwards. My moving with the times could be someone else’s “yesterday”…what is my tip here. The fourth tip is that my direction could be useful to me, but I need to beware of the other courses of directions others around me are setting. I think about what appears to be total mayhem at the commencement of the Sydney to Hobart each year and marvel at the fact that (mostly) Sydney heads and beyond are sighted by all the racing yachts…they have their own courses in the big picture of the race.

My late father always said I was like a “bull at a gate”. I have always been in a hurry to “get somewhere” so the sticky word in the quote for me is adjust. But I do understand the concept of adjustment and so tip number five is for me (and all those who are in a hurry) “Keep your ears turned on Jill…you don’t want to shatter the gate in your enthusiasm to get through.”

And it is ,of sorts, a little contradictory, however “always reach” gives me comfort when I am feeling sticky and grumpy about adjustment. Always reach, gently and generously, gives me/you/us a timeline that is undefined. This provides us with, when we are being buffeted by the winds of change, the opportunity to pause and think and wonder…to reflect. Tip six is pause and look back…there is learning back there that needs to be captured so that you do reach your destination.

To sum up…

When the winds of change can be heard blowing.

  1. Think about how your brain is responding.
  2. Consider the wind – is it really change or just a gust?
  3. Who can help you see the “can” in the change?
  4. Is my direction the only direction?
  5. Carefully open the gate to change – don’t crash through it.
  6. Your destination will be reached by looking back and seeing where you have come from.

“Change is not about crashing through the gate – it is about gently opening it so everyone can walk through it with you.” Jill Briggs

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