Make them carry you

A windmill at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, August 2005

A windmill at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, August 2005

“If the winds of fortune are temporarily blowing against you, remember that you can harness them and make them carry you toward your definite purpose, through the use of your imagination.”Napoleon Hill

Windmills are a visually appealing reminder that forces beyond our control can be turned to good purpose.  Wind-driven machines have been around in some form for centuries, in many different parts of the world.  Over time they evolved to become increasingly sophisticated and efficient at grinding grain and pumping water.  Their value grew with these refinements until new technologies rendered them largely obsolete.

I can’t help but wonder whether any of today’s innovations will ever appear as quaint and decorative as the historic windmills that survive today, some of which have been restored to functional operation.  Next time you see a windmill, let it remind you of what is possible when we learn to manage and adapt to uncontrollable circumstances, turning random or unpredictable events into opportunities for healing and growth.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    Very interesting idea, wind blowing against you, harnessed by your imagination to bring you to your goal, and a windmill as an example. It really would take thinking “outside the box” for someone to have said, “hmmm, let’s use this wind to grind corn!” Or, “let’s water our crops with the wind!” Wind dies seem to oppose watering of crops, since wind tends to dry things more quickly.
    Now to apply this principle to other opposing forces in life ….

    • I imagine someone pushing an old-fashioned mill stone in the circular patterns sometimes powered by animals such as oxen. After wearing themselves out with the effort, then walking back home against heavy winds, they might be thinking “hey, the wind is STRONG and we can harness that just like we harness the ox or the mule!” From there it would be a short jump to figuring how how to “catch” that power. Ultimately, leading to amazing things such as the enormous dams that generate so much electricity from water power.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

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