Wednesday is Ella Day.

Which is when Christine and I get to be grandparents to a beautiful, clever, full-of-fun 20-month-old.

It’s exhausting and completely delightful.

Yesterday, Christine thought we should make windmills.

Pens, paper, crayons, glue, straws etc. filled the table and we created world class paper windmills.

Last night, I was hosting one of my regular TEAM17 group coaching sessions and ended up showing off my windmill creation (it was brilliant!).

Something struck me.  The blessing, ‘May the wind be at your back! ’ wouldn’t work for windmills.

Windmills only work when they face the wind.

A windmill doesn’t want the wind at its back.

I think you are designed in the same way.

Having the wind at your back may feel fine in the moment – but longer term?

Rather than creating energy, developing steadfastness and gaining strength, you’d just be carried along wistfully…

And then you’d have to get back.

From which direction do you want your wind?

As always, I love to know your thoughts; please leave them below.

Be Brilliant!



  1. November 25th 2021 by Karen Young

    Totally agree Michael, as one who has sailed a bit, having the wind pushing you from behind is an exhilarating but precarious point of sail, much more steady and difficult it to sail close to the wind, it means taking a zig zag route, you may reach your destination more slowly, but you are less likely to get hit on the head by the boom with a fluke wind change. I never thought I’d use Sailing as an analagy for life!

  2. November 25th 2021 by Sylvia Waite

    A very interesting philosophy on windmills Michael. Personally I think a gentle refreshing breeze wafting around is more stimulating. After all, a strong wind at your face gets in your eyes, messes your hair and can be pretty uncomfortable. And it could blow away your ideas, with the cobwebs! The wind at your back could be easier to cope with but blowing the wrong way. Much better to stay in and write that boook!

  3. November 25th 2021 by Gaynor Weatherley

    Nothing nicer than wind in your face
    Blow the cobwebs away
    Makes you look forward not back
    A beautiful analysis
    Enjoy every moment with your wonderful granddaughter
    Thank you for lovely thought provoking message x

  4. November 25th 2021 by Neil Evans

    As a cyclist I prefer the wind at my back. I can work as hard as ever, I just go faster and have more fun. At work, if the wind was always at my back life would be become very boring.

  5. November 25th 2021 by Jeffrey Gitomer

    Please keep the Irish in mind. Their blessing touts the wind being at your back.

  6. November 25th 2021 by Karin Carruthers

    “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese proverb

    See the opportunity in both… be open and understand the opportunity that can be gained from harnessing the wind!

  7. November 25th 2021 by Andrew

    As long as the wind isn’t from below it always has potential.

    As a windmill is created to turn into the wind, if we can learn to adapt or flip it the wind can often help us on our merry way.

  8. November 25th 2021 by Jane

    Grandparenting is the best fun.
    When sailing, having the wind behind you is the most comfortable, wind ahead the most challenging but also most adrenalin stimulating.

  9. November 26th 2021 by Mary Masaba

    When I was under 10, I used to stretch out my arms and pretend to fly. But the fire that once burned in me is greatly diminished, and I prefer a gentle breeze and none of that disgusting, gusting foolishness, no matter if it’s full frontal, at the back, or even sideways. I don’t want to be blown off my creaking legs and probably end up in hospital.

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