We all chuckle and nod knowingly whenever we hear mention of someone ’tilting at windmills.’ This reference to Don Quixote is almost always used in a manner to invoke eye rolling and head shaking. When used in reference to anyone as delusional as the character Don Quixote himself it’s probably more likely to be done with a sad, resigned, eye rolling.
However, quite often the charge of windmill tilting is leveled at those who are taking on what appears to be an insurmountable task. But there have been precious few significant changes in the human condition that haven’t started off as tilting at windmills. Abolishing slavery, women as persons, the de-segregation of the US, tearing down the Berlin Wall, India’s nationalism from Britain, ending apartheid, the list could go on.
None of these changes were deemed to be doable when a change was initially proposed. Everyone who suggested any of these as likely outcomes was met with eye rolling and muttered aspersions, crazy, dreamer, windmill tilter. Yet, someone screwed their courage to the sticking point, and at significant risk to life, limb and reputation, decided that the potential result was worth the definite downsides personally.
So what have you been putting off as ‘too crazy, too out there’ to take a shot at?
No one will write a story about how you played it safe and died in your bed unremarkable.