I settled into the seat as I normally do. My tray table was up in front of me and all my belongings tucked safely under the seat, including my feet. My head was leaning back against the headrest and my eyes were closed as I started to relax in anticipation of the flight ahead. No sooner had the plane taken off from Minnesota when I heard the wheels being released and the pilot announce that we would be landing in Michigan where the temperature was a frigid 30 degrees.
A flight that normally takes close to two hours only took 39 minutes. It might not be a world record, but it sure seemed like an amazing speed to me. I talked to the pilot on my way out the door and he told me at one point the plane was going 690 miles per hour. He then added, “We had a little boost from a tailwind that was over 100 miles per hour.”
It got me thinking about whether I am a tailwind in my marriage or family to keep those areas of my life flying in the right direction. So often, it feels like I’m more of a headwind, a gusty wind, or a blanket of fog that creates havoc or confusion. A headwind can drop the speed of an airplane significantly, causing a flight to take an hour or more longer than expected. A gusty wind will bounce the plane all around and possibly cause physical pain as well as delays in flight time. Fog makes it difficult for the pilot to see.
When you argue with your wife about something that is either trivial or non-productive, you’re really producing a headwind that could delay them from getting more important things done or simply causing unnecessary anxiety or stress. The same thing happens when you’re cross with your kids out of frustration about something in your own life that you’re taking out on them. They will feel like you’re more of an obstacle pushing them back instead of a support that carries them forward.
Operating as a tailwind with your family will really help them soar. That kind of boost can keep the engines of their heart revved up and going for miles. Telling them you love them. Listening with openness when they talk. Hugging them for no reason. Being available to them regularly. Not arguing, but talking things over rationally when there is disagreement. Seeing all sides of an issue and not focusing on your own needs.
That’s the kind of tailwind that will help you climb to new heights with your family and help you to rise to every occasion you face so you can win at home.