It Is Better To Re-Set Your Sails Than To Curse The Winds

by Rick Stecker

Motivational speaker and writer William Arthur Ward said this:

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The realist adjusts his sails.”

A rising tide of pessimism rarely serves anyone well for very long, as it carries you into the jet-stream currents of cynicism and doubt which are hard to escape.

An attitude of optimism on the other hand enables you to persevere in your journey despite rough waters and heavy seas, and even to reap rewards left behind by those hapless pessimists who veered off their course too soon.

Yet, optimism by itself rarely carries you above the waves. You have to learn to act on its influence and adapt yourself to the currents moving in the moment.

You must keep yourself afloat and continue moving toward the destination you inner optimist informs you lies straight ahead.

As a realist, you learn to rig and set your sails in order to take advantage of those winds of opportunity, so that they will blow you toward and not away from your goals.

As Admiral James Stockdale – who survived in captivity for seven years under the most hopeless of conditions as a prisoner of war in Vietnam – put it – it is those who possess the paradoxical combination of optimism tempered with realism, who find they can actually achieve the extraordinary. 

About the Author

Rick Stecker is a personal growth specialist, writer and speaker helping entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Rick's first job was as a reporter covering crime for a daily newspaper. Then came a stint on the high seas in Navy public relations aboard an aircraft carrier.

What followed was 25 years in corporate communications. Yet when a buyout forced a career change, Rick took his accumulated experience and built a consulting business, Grounds to Grow Coaching.

Rick authored his first book "Making Choices Like A Champion" to help others grow their capabilities. His second book, "The Chronicles of Mikey & Me" reflects on lessons learned out in the marsh with his first duck dog. In the works is Rick's next book, "The Benevolent Merger" aimed at helping those looking for personal growth to be victorious in their thinking. Rick's writings for the Internet can be found on Substack at ‘Rick Stecker’s Rising Tides’ ( Be sure to subscribe!

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