Adjust the Sails
As typical for the Pacific Northwest summer comes around the 4th of July, and I had the opportunity to spend a few glorious days this week in the San Juan Islands. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, and there was just enough of a breeze to make everyone happy. It was enjoyable to watch the myriad of boats around us, including sailboats all decked out for the Holiday – a highlight being one sporting a huge sail with the design of the American flag.
Since I have been sharing leadership insights and strategies for positive change, the sailboats reminded me of a great quote I read recently by John Maxwell as follows:
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
This quote struck me as I consider myself an optimist. I strive to choose the right attitude and best perspective in all circumstances. But like the optimist in this quote, I realize that sometimes I expect things to change for the better, and “hope for the best”, and but don’t take any action. Wouldn’t it be better that I would be an optimist, but also make changes and adjustments as I can to ensure a positive outcome?If the wind is the unforeseen troubles that come our way, how are we reacting to them? Think of a recent difficulty you faced at work or at home – perhaps a problem with a client or co worker, a financial issue, or a disagreement with a friend. It may be a problem you got yourself into, or it may be something you had no control over. Either way, did you complain about it or did you choose a positive perspective? Was there anything you could do to make a difference? Often times it is easier to do nothing, than to take on the hard work of fixing a situation that has us floundering.