I remember biking through the streets and then jungles of Bangkok a couple of years ago and it reminds me of a life and career concept. I am not sure which was more dangerous in Bangkok, the city or the jungle. The streets of Bangkok are crowded with all sorts of vehicles from bicycles to large rigs and all weaving between each other. Horns honking all around you and the smell of diesel is a constant. Your senses are overwhelmed as you try to find those gaps that allow you to move forward.
The jungles were very interesting because we were on a concrete bike path that was about four feet wide and weaved through the jungle. As you biked, you would suddenly have to make an abrupt 90 degree turn to go into another direction. Did I mention that the bike/foot path did not have a lot of railings (about 95% no railings) and anywhere from a 2-8 foot drop on either side onto the jungle floor? Did I also mention that as you are biking, you wind up having foot and bike traffic oncoming and they are not slowing down. There were times you had to hold your breath and not go off the path.
The reason I share this memory is that it reminds me of life and career. What I recall about my journey through Bangkok by bike was that as you concentrated on the path in front of you, the more you thought about NOT falling off the path, the more dangerous was the situation. I found that when I softly held the handle bars, peddled fast, looked down the pathway ahead of me and enjoyed the ride, everything was fine. It was when I would grip the handle bars hard, look about 3 feet in front of me and slowed the bike down that the bike would start to weave and I felt that I might fall off. The more confidence I would have, the straighter I would go. The times I thought I would go off the path were the times I lacked my confidence. You are more concerned about not falling rather than staying on the trail.
There is a lesson here that we can apply to life and career. Over the years, I have mentored so many individuals and I would say that there are a good many that are holding on tight to the handle bars and looking at the ground. If their life were a bike, they are concentrating on not falling off that they are finding it difficult to move forward. I am not saying that you should close your eyes and trust your instinct and just peddle, but rather have more confidence in your ability to maneuver and enjoy the view as you bike through your life and career. If the jungle path in Bangkok would have had railings throughout the entire trail, then it would have been a much easier ride, but when did our life and career have safety railings? When I overcame the fact that there were not a lot of times where railings would keep me on the path, I had to make sure I stayed on the path. I relied on me and so should you. To stay on the path, trust your abilities and enjoy the ride.
ps – the photo here is one of the rare times where there were railings 🙂
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