Airplanes and ocean liners have rudders on the back of their engines which enable the vessel to change directions. However, should those rudders try to change direction on their own, they would break against the force of the wind or water.
Engineers discovered that if they place a small device, called a trim tab, on the back of the rudder, it can change directions, if only slightly. The counteractive force created by the small movement of the trim tab is enough to allow the rudder to change directions without breaking.
This simple trim tab can allow for either a slight - or drastic - change in the direction of the vessel.
The first time I shared this analogy in class, my trim tab had been a simple smile.
A weekend filled with disappointment found me stressed and heartbroken. As I pulled into the grocery store parking lot, I drove past another human, and in that moment for one reason or another, I smiled. The warmth received back melted my tension in that moment. I knew everything would be ok.
It was so simple. A smile. And it changed all my interactions that followed.
We often feel we need drastic changes in our lives; we overlook the power of a trim tab.
What might be that trim tab, for you?