A Toyota Prius passed me at 100 miles an hour. I didn’t know a Prius could even go that fast. The driver was passing on the right, using the breakdown lane, zigging and zagging across traffic. If a car could careen, he was.
The problem with this sort of fast passage is that there’s no room for error. One mistake, one failure, and you’re out.
The other sort of rambunctious, risky forward motion is very different.
This is the work we do when we’re out on a limb with a new idea. When we’re sharing ideas that feel personal or important. This is the work of practical empathy, and most of all, of acting ‘as if’ before we’re sure.
The thing is–even though this might feel as risky as driving down the Saw Mill River Parkway at 100 miles an hour, it’s actually the safest work you can do. If you fail while trying to help, you’ll get another chance. And then another.
This doesn't just apply to sharing ideas or work. It applies more broadly to being a human too. You can careen down the path of weight loss or some other goal. You can go very fast towards that goal.
But it's risky, you might crash.
The other kind of rambunctious risky forward motion comes when you go out on a limb with your practice. You act as if you're already who you need to be before you're sure. You practice empathy for yourself and move forward towards your goals.
You're trying to help yourself get there. If you fail while you're trying to help, you get another chance.