If You Find Your Windmill Doesn’t Have Sails, Improvise!

"Gordon Bryan"
Written by gordino

I’m looking at another of my quote images in this article, and you might give a little groan…

I took that photo at Halnaker, West Sussex.

I hadn’t even gone there to take photos of the windmill, I had gone there to take photos of a tree tunnel. I had seen pictures of the tree tunnel online, and when I researched where it was, it was then I noticed there was a windmill nearby, and looking at pictures others has taken made me put the windmill on my list of photos to take!

When I got there, I found out that in fact the tree tunnel was not only close to the windmill, it pretty much led up to it! So once I had taken the photos of the trees…

"Halnaker Tree Tunnel"

… it was then on up to the windmill. This is where my little groan came in.

In all the pictures I had seen prior to the trip, the windmill looked like, well, a windmill.

On this day though, as I got far enough up the hill (windmills are always at the top of a hill, right!), I could see that this windmill looked more like a cross between a Dalek and a salt shaker – it had no sails!

There was a sign up saying that the council was in consultation about the best way to move forward with the project, and that means money. In a time where the money for local councils is stretched beyond stretching point, replacing sails on a knackered unused windmill is not going to be happening anytime soon.

That was a shame, as it meant I wouldn’t be able to take and ‘decent’ windmill shots.

So I went off and sulked.

Well, actually, I didn’t.
Of course I didn’t!

I decided to make the best of it, and see what kind of shots I could get, to see how it would look as it was without the sails. As it happens, there aren’t a huge amount of photos of it without the sails, I think it has a certain something to the look. There’s a nostalgic twang to it, a feeling of desolation.

"Halnaker Windmill"

Not the most cheerful way to look at it maybe, but I was enjoying it!

Then when I got home and looked at the photos on the computer, I decided it would be fun to draw on some sails, and do a deliberately bad job of it, to drive home the point about improvisation.

That made me smile some more, which long term readers will know I’m a fan of, and it got another use out of the ‘no sails’ situation.

This happens in life.

We get to the top of hills and find the sails we expected aren’t there.

It could be on a path towards a goal that we chose to set out on, or it could be on a path that life randomly threw at us, one of the curveballs that we all have to deal with.

As it happens, since those random curveballs *will* come at all of us, whether we like it or not, that’s why I think it’s better to be on the path of intention, that path we chose to set out on because it fits in with our real selves, our passions, what we actually want. That’s somewhat drifting off point though (not unusual for me I admit) so let’s get back to that moment when we realise the sails we expected aren’t there…

What are we going to do about it?

Well, we can give up if we want. We can let our shoulders sag and roll out the mantra that it always happens to us, that’s the way of life for us.

Or, we can throw our hands up in the air and start ranting – blaming this, blaming that, blaming them, blaming anything we can think of, because it’s always someone else’s fault.

Or, we can accept that although it might *feel* like it always happens to us, it doesn’t always happen. We can accept that it might indeed be down to someone else that caused the issue, but it might not, and even if it was, what can we do about it?

What action can we take ourselves? How can we take responsibility for how we move forward? If we remember our core values and purpose, we can look at our options…

That might be to retreat and go a different route. It might be to go around. It might be to fix life’s sails ourself. It might be, as was the case with my windmill photos, that we improvise, which I did both at the time, and later after the event.

I could have spent the whole time there moaning at the council, or moaning about what happened to the sails in the first place, I could have stormed off home in a sulk, but that would have meant me missing the opportunity for some interesting ‘sail free’ windmill shots, and the opportunity for a smile with my photoshop attempts at drawing some on to see ‘if anyone would notice.’

It all comes down to perception. Perception of the situation, and then our reaction to it. Both are choices, whether we like it or not, so it’s much better to accept that they are choices, and set out to make different ones.

That might take practice, because attitudes get built up over years, and lead to behaviours which tend to reinforce those attitudes. So it might take time and effort, but it’s so worth it, because it leads to a life of less stress and angst, a life much more open to viewing opportunities, and life, well, where we can give wind to the sails of our imagination!

"Gordon Bryan"

So, look to your own circumstances. As you go up hills and find the windmill sails are missing, are you ready to improvise?

Try it, it can change your life, it can transform it.

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – do leave a comment!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If you’d like to start making some changes to your current circumstances, do watch my free video series covering my 8 step goal achievement formula – it works!

Do leave a comment!

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