The Winds Always Change

by Evan Lea

The winds always change. Sometimes they blow at your back, pushing you supportively towards your goal. Sometimes they face you head on, forcing you to take cover or work through the resistance. Whichever wind is blowing in your life, it’s best to be conscientious and prepared for the inevitable change.

Think about your winning streaks – those times when it seems like nothing can go wrong. Whether it’s a series of great social interactions, twenty made jumpshots, or just your emotional well-being: those moments of flow and groove are some of the most enjoyable we experience as humans. It’s almost as if our brains shut off, our soul takes the wheel, and we are just along for the glorious ride. As Bagger Vance put it, we “stop thinking without falling asleep”. If only we could sustain this state. Unfortunately, in my experience, that’s not a realistic expectation.

Instead, torrid weather eventually rolls in. It’s hard to pin down exactly what causes this change, but the fact that it always remains true is something worth paying attention to. Identifying the change in wind is all the more important. It is our job to be prepared. It’s important that we’ve enabled ourselves to acknowledge, survive, recover, and thrive from these headwinds.

They come in many forms. Whether it’s temptation, a regression of standards, being burnt out from going too hard for too long, unfavorable circumstances out of your control – whatever the reason, knowing yourself and how you’ve historically reacted to these setbacks is critical. Now that’s not to say you should always be looking for the bad in life, but just be aware of the fact that sometimes, we are predisposed to counterproductive forces. Thinking about them constantly will only bring on more of them, but having a plan for handling them when they arrive will keep you from great harm. Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.

It’s important to know which activities to enjoy when the weather is favorable and which to avoid when all things are askew. By recognizing the patterns of the universe and of ourselves, we can learn to work with the wind instead of against it. This leads us to be much more effective, happy, and successful.

“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step-by-step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time, day-by-day, and at the end of the day – if you live long enough – like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.”

– Charlie Munger

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