Less than half of the days in Cleveland are sunny and today there isn't a cloud in the sky – the sun isand the temps are a perfect 74 degrees.
Time to get outdoors.
I try to walk in the neighborhood each day but today I felt like doing something different. So I pulled my bike out of the garage, checked the tires for air and climbed aboard for the first time in over five years.
It is amazing how quickly you remember how to ride, the wind whipping your hair and in moments I was 12 years old again trying to ride with no hands.
As I rode around the neighborhood, three things came to mind:
As we rush through life we miss so much. Just the simple act of going the same way everyday robs us of new views. The other day instead of going left from my front door I went right. I still walked the same distance but approaching the yards and homes from the opposite direction allowed me to see yards, flower beds and homes in a totally different way. On the back of a bike I was able to travel further distances and so ventured down cul-de-sacs that I'd previously missed.
I realized that for my business I need to also take time to view how I approach each day, each project, and each customer from a different perspective. What have I been missing because I always see things through the same eyes? What could I do better; different that would benefit my customers, my bottom line? Hmmm.
I quickly realized that when traveling in a car, roads that appear to be level are in fact gradual up hill climbs. As the wind pressed against me and the road gradually tilted upward, my knees and legs felt the challenge. I pressed forward – pressing on, missing what was around me because I was hunkered down against the resistance.
Ah – you know where I'm going, right? Is there someone in your department, your business, your life that is a resisting force? Perhaps a chronic negative attitude, a nay-sayer, someone who thwarts your every move forward until you have to by pass them or press through them?
On my bike I realized that if I changed gears, I was able to manage the resistance with very little effort. Is there a different approach you can take with those resisting your efforts?
Take a Second Look:
It's still very early spring here in Ohio and as you race down the street the trees still look barren – no hope of the summer greenery that we trust will occur. And yet, on the seat of my bike, I could see the baby buds just beginning to form on the tips of the branches. A pale hint of fresh green coated each bud. The promise of springtime just moments away.
In my business I wonder if there are things that need a second look. Projects, ideas, harebrain schemes that perhaps I thought were dead that need another look. Is there something that you've put on the back burner that perhaps deserves a second look?
So there you have it – my lessons from the back of my 10-speed bike. Oh and two other things: those cushy gel bike seats are a great thing – sure wish I knew which of my kids took mine and boo-boos hurt a lot more when you are an adult.
Now get out there and hop on your bike and take a look around you with 12-year old eyes. What do you see? Keep the band aids handy.