in: Advice, Character, Sunday Firesides

Sunday Firesides: Careful Kills

When you’re first learning to ride a bike, it can be frightening to get up some speed. But this is exactly what will make the ride a success. Take it too slow, and down you go.

A similar principle is at work in mountain biking. When you spot an obstacle up ahead — a rock, a log — a natural reaction is to slow down. But that only increases your chances of falling over; you need momentum to get over the bump.

In skiing and snowboarding too, fear can lead you to check the speed of your turns. But that only makes it more likely you’ll take a tumble. To get down the mountain upright, you’ve got to swallow your fear and commit to the turn.

Often in life, we want to engage in slow, methodical due diligence before taking action. We want to do just a little more research before making a decision. We want to wait and see before we commit. We think this approach is responsible and safe. 

Certainly, making big decisions does warrant some degree of caution and deliberation. But “sensible” prudence is frequently only a mask for fear, which, in seeking to mitigate risk, ironically opens up a greater danger. As it’s been said, careful kills.

Wait too long to commit in a relationship, and the romance fizzles out.

Move too slow in capitalizing on an idea, and someone beats you to it.

Overthink an invitation, and you miss out on fun.

Spend too much time hemming and hawing over a decision, and the opportunity slips away. 

When you’ve got momentum, the most dangerous thing you can do is to put on the brakes. The safest is to lean into it. Fortune favors the fast. Fortune favors the bold. Fate rarely smiles on the careful. 

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