“I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.”
– attributed to Thomas Jefferson and others
There is a Latin proverb that a dear friend used to say to me when I was feeling lost or stuck. “If there’s no wind, row.” It’s a wonderfully simple yet evocative phrase that I’ve been thinking about lately as I’ve been writing and collecting thoughts to help people get “unstuck” when they’re chronically lacking inspiration and direction.
To extend the metaphor a little bit, we must first realize that there’s not always going to be wind. Sometimes it’s so windy we feel as if we’re going to be blown away where we stand. Other times it’s eerily still and stays that way for quite a while. So too with inspiration in anything we do. There’s a natural ebb and flow and knowing how to deal proactively with the ebb is one of the most important things we can train ourselves to do.
We’re all on an equal playing field in this respect. All of our most famous and enduring achievers were also well-versed in frustration and failure because they were rowing, or trying new things, all the time. While the activities in question for you are likely not as simple and automatic as rowing, you need to work within the context of whatever you’re setting out to do to determine what you can do to “row.”
Break tasks down to their smaller component parts. If I want to run a marathon, even if I want to do it today, even if I plan to do it today, I can’t do it right now. The only thing I can do right now is take another stride forward. Even if I’m exhausted, my lungs are burning, I can take another step forward.
What step can you take forward today? Let me know in the comments or connect with me via email at email@example.com.