“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” — Henry Ford
Whether you go with or against it, the wind can help you achieve your objectives
Many things that we have experience with in life work with the wind and not against it. When you fly a kite, you resist the wind to carry your kite higher and higher as you hold the string taut. When you sail a boat, you look to the wind to fill your sails pushing you where you want to go across the water.
In aviation, planes take off into the wind regardless of the direction they are ultimately looking to travel. As a pilot, the reason an airplane takes off into the wind makes sense to me. In short, an airplane flies by generating “lift” through the process made by deflecting air as it hits the wing, and altering the air pressure above and below the wing. This generates the “lift” needed for the airplane to stay aloft. The engines just help keeping it moving forward.
Think how it feels when you slowly walk through a swimming pool and feel the force of the water pushing against your body: your body is diverting the flow of water as it pushes through it, and an airfoil wing does the same thing. As a plane flies forward, the curved upper part of the wing lowers the air pressure directly above it, so it moves upward.
Therefore, in order to generate enough lift to get off the ground, airplanes take off into the wind to maximize the wind coming across their wing, and thus minimizing the length of the runway needed.
As a friend or a foe, the wind can inspire you
The point of the explanation is that headwinds are not always bad despite how their context is often used. There may be a purpose served there and you just might need to find it. So as Henry Ford said, “when everything seems to be going against you…” you would be wise to remember how the airplane takes off because it operates differently than the sailboat.
In animal rescue, we are often faced with obstacles, headwinds and days when everything seems to be working against us. Maybe you are not able to raise enough money to fund your operations for the month. You might have a particularly difficult to adopt animal that you are struggling to place. Perhaps you are just burned out and needing a little rejuvenation time away from animal welfare for a bit. Whatever the reason, you will encounter struggles and challenges as you go about your life-saving activities.
Think about who inspired you
I had one of those headwind set of days over the recent Christmas holiday when I felt like everything was against me. It seemed as though I was making no progress, my strategies for growth were not working and my motivation gauge was showing empty. So I took a couple of days to myself, binge watched Netflix and just ruminated with my thoughts for a while.
I remember where I started from when I launched Doobert. I revisited my motivation for persevering when friends and family insinuated that I was silly to keep pouring my money and my time into something that did not generate revenue to the bottom line. I thought back on the people that encouraged me, supported me and inspired me along the way. I reflected on the positive difference I’ve made for both people and animals and the void that would require filling if I just quit.
I used the opportunity to revisit my plan, and to brainstorm with friends and colleagues what the next evolution or path forward would be. I started to rejuvenate myself by returning to my core purpose for all of this…saving animals.
Make some lemonade by pivoting in a new way
When you’re hitting the wall and feeling like your efforts are not making a difference, it’s time for a pivot. Come at the challenges in animal rescue in a new and innovative way to solve the problems. You might think that everything has been done and tried but I’m here to tell you it hasn’t.
Just today I was talking with Artur from Adopets.org. Artur focused on the friction and challenge that adopters have in applying to adopt an animal from rescues and shelters. He developed a beautiful online process (free no less) that optimizes the workflow from both the adopter and the organization perspective. He developed something that will benefit every rescue and shelter and will help them save more time and place more animals. Anyone could have done it, but Artur saw the need and applied his skills to solve it.
Need some inspiration? Reach out to me
If you find yourself in a position where you feel like the winds are against you and you’re struggling for the inspiration to go on, reach out to a friend or maybe a complete stranger. There are more than 22,000 people now on Doobert and I do not know each one of them personally. But we all have a common bond in that we are saving animals. So if I can help any of you, reach out to me and let’s talk.