Take one guess what my newest hobby is; and it’s not bowling?
I have been interested in mountain biking for quite sometime. Even though Florida has no mountains they do have some interesting terrain where phosphate mining occurred at one time. However, it wasn’t until a friend loaned me his old trail bike after he purchased a new one that got me hooked.
And yes, you can roll out there with an off the shelf bike from Walmart for about $300 but I will attest, having the proper equipment makes a big difference. Therefore, it took a lot of research until I found the right deal and the right bike for me, but very happy with my new rig.
Yes, I have already crashed and burned once causing a broken hand but that was on the loaner; the silver lining, it also gave me plenty of down-time to properly search for the right bike however.
And that leads me to the topic of this post; how many times have you crashed and burned in your business life, what did you learn from it, and did the experience help you grow?
You have to walk before you roll
Trees, roots, rocks, sand, mud, hills, turns and sometimes critters are all objects you will encounter on the trail. Some of it is pretty benign and some of it is oh crap…
How often in life, particularly in business do you have to deal with real obstacles and how do you handle them?
Since I have taken a hard fall once I am still somewhat cautious, especially on new, unfamiliar terrain; but at some point you just have to throw caution to the wind and let ‘er rip. That is where practice and training comes in because it will give you the confidence to take on more technical trails along the way.
How many of you practice for your job? Professional athletes train and practice all the time, they don’t just show up and play. How about you, are you really practicing and growing, or are you just showing up to play?
If someone is paying you to play (even if it’s yourself), don’t you think you should do all you can to be the best player on the team?
But it’s just a job…
4 lessons from trail riding you can use in business as well
1. Confidence – the more I ride the more confidant I become. Each time pushing myself a little bit more, I find that confidence breeds confidence. The training and practice makes me better each and every time.
2. Perseverance – Yes, there are times I fall down, bang a tree, slip a chain; but each and every time I get back up and keep moving forward. If I decided to quit because of one setback what kind of message am I sending to myself? How many times are you willing to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on going?
3. Growing – It gets me out of my comfort zone; when you crest a hill and see the path go straight down with roots and rocks along the way, it’s your moment of truth because once you commit to it that back brake becomes virtually useless. Yes, it takes my breath away at times but it is a good kind of scary. Sometimes you need that good kind of scary, a feeling of accomplishment when you step out of your comfort zone, to grow and succeed in your business life. At times, it feels like you are jumping off a cliff as you try to build your wings on the way down.
4. Handling adversity – you fall down and break your hand, skin a knee, break a pedal, snap a chain, run out of water,
get eaten by a gator, get stung by a bee; and a good chance most of those will happen at one time or another, just hopefully not on the same day. Your attitude and how you handle adversity in dealing with these minor situations could go a long way for preparing you when similar calamities occur in your daily life. Tough lessons at times, but hopefully a learning lesson if nothing else.
We’re talking about a bicycle here, right?
Yep, just a bike; probably your primary source of transportation at one time in your life. As I told my wife (while I was trying to convince her it made sense for a 70 yr-old guy to invest in a new trail bike at that age) I could have picked a much worse hobby like dirt bike racing or professional hot dog eating or something like that; at least it is mostly healthy and gets me outdoors.
There are many activities where parallel life lessons can be learned and I chose this topic as my case study because I did crash and burn and it would have been very easy to take up couch potatoing at that point. But as Andy Dufresne so eloquently said in Shawshank Redemption, Get busy living, or get busy dying; I think I’ll choose living, especially if it involves fun too.
What do you think; what activities outside of work are you involved in that parallels every day living you can draw lessons from?
Until next time…