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Cattle graze in field under leaning tree wind influenced on farmland.

As I was out for one of my Monday runs in the Tararua forest park, I found myself wondering about the concept of prevailing. The train of thought went something like this: Wow! That southerly wind is bitterly cold – got to keep moving as fast as possible to make sure I don’t catch a cold… Why is it that the southerly is so much more noticeable than the Northerly when the Northerly is the prevailing wind… Of course where the wind comes from is critical… Isn’t it interesting that the northerly is prevailing yet it’s not necessarily the strongest or the coldest? There must be something vital in life about consistently moving in a particular direction?

So as tends to happen when I’m out in wide open spaces allowing my mind to be free, I started searching for the lessons. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Tree’s grow with the prevailing wind, but are often destroyed by the winds that come against them from a different angle, because they’re simply not ready for what they encounter. They’ve spent so much energy growing and being strong for what they most commonly are stressed by, that when something new comes along is causes major distress. Sometimes we’re probably pretty similar, which is why we tend to cling to the familiar – yet paradoxically the strongest individuals we come across are often those who have lived a little and weathered many of life’s storms. Perhaps we need to take a more balanced look at life’s storms and re-image them positively as the things that make us stronger. Interestingly being out in a storm is either horrific and horrible , or one of those things that you embrace (some even chase them) and wind up really reminding you, you’re alive! But it’s always easy to re-image the storms positively as an experience in retrospect – our memory is imperfect in that we tend to rose tint things.

2. Beware of where the forces in life are coming at you from. In knowing where they come from, you know what to expect and you can anticipate your ability to weather them. Or make plans and preparations for faring better against the storm. Ask any farmer – they’re usually experts at this, and will shift their stock to different paddocks etc depending on what direction the storm is coming from in order to weather better.

3. Consistency builds strength, coping and resilience in that direction. While it’s important to build greater resilience in all directions (see point one above); it’s also true that we want to develop and enhance our ability to weather the things that consistently plague our ability to remain strong. For example if my issue was consistent neck pain, it might be appropriate for me to selectively develop better control and perhaps power or strength in my neck as that’s the most common ‘wind that blows against me.’ I’d be more able to cope with life if I was consistent in that. Equally, the simple fact that it’s a consistent companion makes it sometimes easier to cope with if there is a management strategy that works! Conversely it’d flatten me if the management strategy didn’t work.

I hope this is a helpful story – If you need help prevailing against whatever life has thrown you lately, give one of our team a call – we’d be happy to help.