Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wind Assist

Did my first yard work of the season yesterday. As I was blowing the grass clippings off the sidewalks and gutters, the strangest thing was happening. Every time I started the blower, the wind picked up in the same direction that I was blowing. It was like I had some kind of divine intervention assisting me with this task. Almost as if the Big Guy upstairs was saying in His best Crocodile Dundee voice, “that’s not a blower, this is blower!” I have a pretty sizable yard so I was kind of whooped when I was finished mowing so the assist I got with the blowing was very much appreciated. It was almost if I was being rewarded for my hard work with some help.

So of course it got me thinking about how I could apply this very strange but appreciated phenomenon to my life. I think that we all can use a little wind assist every now and then. Of course if you are an outdoor track and field athlete – particularly a sprinter or jumper – the wind assist is not what you want as that annoying * will be placed by your performance if you happen to set a record. Besides that I’m thinking a wind assist is a great thing to give and receive.

If I have given my all to a task, to solving a difficult problem, or to completing a complex project and I just can’t seem to get to the finish line, someone stepping in with a word of encouragement, a piece of information that produces an “Aha” moment, or rolling up their sleeves and helping me to get to completion can be huge. So how can we be that wind-assist for others?

1. As I mentioned above, an encouraging word might be all that person needs to give them the inspiration they need to complete their task and succeed. The person – co-worker, spouse, teammate, child, etc. – has probably given their all to the task and doesn’t think that anyone recognizes or appreciates their effort. A simple acknowledgement of that can be huge!

2. Often times we can get so close to something that we are working on that we can’t see the one or two obstacles that are keeping us from being successful. As a person who is on the ‘outside looking in’ you can see what that person may be missing and put that very last piece of the puzzle in place with just one statement or suggestion. Now that’s a wind assist there, I don’t care who you are.

3. Sometimes encouragement or a suggestion is not enough and what that person really needs is for you to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches with them and help them with the task. Knowing that someone is in your corner to the point that they are willing to do whatever it takes – including ‘getting their hands dirty' – is inspiration and can be the best kind of wind assist.

Someone in your life can use a wind assist today. I just offer three potential ways you can help someone else out and reward them for their hard work. There are probably many more. So be creative and be someone’s wind today!


  1. I agree! And not only does being "a wind assist" to someone benefit the person you're helping, but also benefits you. Sometimes getting your eyes off of yourself helps put your own challenges in perspective.

  2. Another good one Dr Jackson... Taking your proposition further, I would say that it behooves us all to actively seek out ways to be the "wind beneath the wings" of someone else. Karma's really cool!