Are you the Wind or the Sun?

May I share a story with you? It’s one you may already know, but one that I think applies to our pursuit of a new career, a new job, or any dream.

The North Wind and the Sun is one of Aesop’s fables.

Once upon a time, long ago, the North Wind and the Sun were arguing over which of them was stronger. Far below them, a man traveled along a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat and a woolen cap on his head.

“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun. “As a test of strength, let us see which of us can take the coat off that man. Whoever does so is clearly the stronger.”

The North Wind laughed, “It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat.” So the North Wind began to blow, making the birds cling to the trees. He blew harder and harder still until the whole word was filled with dust and swirling leaves. The air grew cold and the ground began to freeze. But the man, he clung to his coat.

Finally the North Wind blew directly on the man, as hard as he could, thinking he could blow the coat right off the man. But the shivering cold man wrapped his coat even more tightly around himself.

At last the North Wind gave up the attempt. The dust and leaves settled. “It’s just not possible to make that man remove his coat.”

Then it was the Sun’s turn. So the Sun came out from behind a cloud and began to shine. The birds began to sing. The Sun warmed the air and melted the frost on the ground. And the man on the road unbuttoned his coat, and removed his cap.

Slowly, the Sun grew brighter and warmer. The man began to feel hot. So he took off his coat and sat down beneath a tree for shade.

Amazed, the North Wind asked the Sun, “How did you do that?”

“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”

The reason I am drawn to this story is that I am often more like the North Wind than the Sun. Sometimes I need to be reminded to slow down, be patient, and be gentle in my pursuit of what I want.

I also notice this with people searching for their dream job or a career that feels like a calling. They want it so badly they push for answers and clarity, and it just won’t come. Or during a job search, job seekers can get so aggressive in their search for leads, that the job lead becomes like the coat gripped even tighter by the man.

The answer lies in finding ways to be more like the Sun: warm, gentle in our approach, patient, and confident of a positive outcome.

I know I need this reminder. How about you? Are there areas where you might benefit from a more Sun-like perspective?

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Client Stories

When I first met Lori, I was in a rut. Having spent 25 years in the same industry, I was bored, max’d out and didn't know what to do next.  I was pigeon-holed into an industry that I was not so fond of, and saw no way to get out.  I felt trapped. Lori understood my predicament, as she had seen it all before -- she was sympathetic, but resolute in knowing that she could help me find answers.  I took great solace in that! 

Through several sessions and dozens of exercises, I began to get a clearer picture of who I am, and where my strengths and talents truly lie.  Working with Lori, I was able to translate that understanding into updated, targeted resumes that quickly produced interviews and gave me the confidence to express myself better than ever before. 

Consulting a Career Coach should be mandatory for anyone in today's work force, and Lori is the best at her profession.

Robert J. Norris, Warrenville, IL