How Far Did You Go?

LevitatingI met a man the other day. He was one of the musicians for a wedding I was helping organize and plan. As we were sitting there on a break, enjoying a little quiet time and some amazing food, he started talking about his son and how he learned to ride a bicycle. Initially he had training wheels and once he got comfortable with the training wheels, it was time for the next step – taking off the training wheels.

“Now once the training wheels were off, I was running behind him trying as best as I could to make sure he wouldn’t fall”, he told me smiling. “Initially, he got really frustrated as he could only go a few feet before falling to one side. But then I told him: It doesn’t matter if you fall, what matters is how far you went before you fell.” It got me thinking that the entire process of learning is not about never falling (or failing 🙂), but it’s about how far we go before we fall, how much we can stretch that gap between the falls until we get to the place where the space between the falls is so big that we don’t even remember the last time we fell.

We tend to quantify our lives in successes and failures, but what if the real quantifier is how far we go between our last fall and our next one? What if it’s all about extending that space between the falls, just like meditation is about extending the space between our thoughts? And what’s even more interesting is that we never realize how much time has passed until we fall again so if you don’t remember the last time you fell, maybe you’re on the right track.

Looking at your current goals, how big is the space between the falls right now and what can you do to extend it?

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