The Winds and the Waves

We must make the best of those ills which cannot be avoided. ~ Alexander Hamilton

As a small business owner and manager, I am faced with daily challenges that test my mettle, patience and resolve. Not a day goes by where I am free of the necessity of making decisions that affect the lives of my employees, friends and clients. Strangely, though, it is an unceasing responsibility which I am grateful to discharge.

Every morning refocus my resolve to, as Hamilton put so succinctly, “make the best of those ills which cannot be avoided.” No matter how well my team and I plan, prepare and work seamlessly together, we realize that there will always be unforeseen difficulties. Rather than complain, we work together to overcome, together.

He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind, and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles. ~  Henry David Thoreau

I recognize everyone in my organization as either a potential or proven leader. Leadership roles are shaped and eventually defined by the actions of each one, particularly in times of obscurity or when covering uncharted territory. I’ve noted that the most successful of my team as well as of our diverse group of clients share an uncommon ability: they are unafraid to “exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.”

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators. ~ Edward Gibbon

Anyone who takes the approach I am describing will find that the winds and the waves provide nothing more than a greater abundance of energy with which to work in the accomplishment of his aims. Adversity will no doubt rear its ugly head, but wise and brave is he who keeps his head to the wind, facing the waves, searching both trough and crest for opportunity.

The choice is yours!

10 thoughts on “The Winds and the Waves

    1. Those present the greatest challenge and the most rewarding victories when handled creatively. If you eschew blame (yourself, others, God, the devil, whatever) you are then in position to ask yourself “how can I most creatively handle this situation, exactly as it now is?”


  1. Coco

    “Ills” do come to everyone and I’ve found learning to take them as is said “in your stride” makes it so I”m not “derailed” from my vision, goal or objective.Many times it will create additional work or time but I’ve discovered the greatest disruptions occur when reactionary emotions take over.
    Thinking of it as a “greater abundance of energy with which to work in the accomplishment of his aims” offers an entirely new perspective.
    You can plan your work and work your plan but many times these unplanned changes can be the opportunity you could have never imagined.
    When you read a biography how many times there are things in people’s lives that looked like a curse and after things played out it was quite the opposite. Why wouldn’t we leave room in ours for the same!


  2. Colin

    No matter what comes your way, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it. Although the right thing may be different for different people, and there may be many right and many wrong ways, a person can be successful if they find out their right way to work. It takes dedication and self control to be able to figure this out, but once your compass is working correctly, you can find the best course more easily.


  3. Thank you for the insightful and focused thought on working with people and relationships!

    One of the main issues of managing employees as I have found in my experience is, of course, the tension that can develop between management and staff. If one thinks about this as you have so creatively done, it also suggests to one about an agreement: That is, who is to provide what?

    Though there appears to be many surrounding issues, most employers think that by paying a wage that they have fulfilled their part of the agreement, and then wonder why their return of investment is wrought many times with the undercurrent of discontentment.

    I think it would be safe to say that all employers would like their employees to be timely, interested and creative in their environment…and as we know an employee, will find a workplace tedious and cold if there is not the willingness of the employer to provide an atmosphere of a safe environment that promulgates those same elements of interest and creativity: for either side then something just falls short in the agreement.

    Hearing your thoughts this morning, it is clear that your willingness to provide a space that allows people to excel is high on your agenda no matter what the circumstances present.

    To quote the late Jacky Gleason, “How sweet it is!”


  4. Isabelle Kearney

    Beautiful words this morning that, if followed, will reveal a beauty and depth of character in anyone. It doesn’t matter what your particular situation as each one faces the wind and the waves. We each have the choice of buckling under the force or using the force for accomplishment.


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