My son has a girlfriend at school. This doesn’t seem that unreasonable. Except that my son is 4.5 years old and is in preschool. His girlfriend is a lovely little girl and each Monday and Wednesday when I pick them up from school, he waits for her while she gets her jacket on and then the two of them hold hands adorably and walk through the preschool and down the stairs. He holds the door open for her and they make their way to “the ramp”, a winding accessible ramp that goes from the bottom of the stairs to the front entrance. I say ready, set, go and then the two of them run down the ramp laughing the whole way.
Occasionally my son will cheat by starting early and he will yell a the top of his lungs the whole way down that “he’s cheating.” It’s hilarious. This week, she decided to take a head start against him, a page out of his own book. She looked back, I think partly to wait for him, and when she did she caught her foot on a small piece of raised concrete and landed on her face…hard. It was an incredible sad and horrible experience but honestly the little girl took it like a champ, barely shed a tear. But that’s not the point. The point is this: stop looking back.
Once you’ve made a decision, run with it. Don’t quit. Don’t second guess. Run with it. When you’re looking back, you’re never fully engaged in what you’re doing. Have you ever driven a car? Which way do you look when you’re driving? Forward? Yes. And why is that? Well, it’s pretty simple. Driving takes your attention and if you were to look in a different direction, say…behind you, you would crash.
When you make a decision, it may not be the best decision, but you need to keep going. You may come to the end of the road and it may be a dead end. And you may have to turn around and head in the other direction. But looking behind you the whole time does not make you get to that dead end any faster. Drive. Full speed. On the path you’ve chosen.
You will fuck up. Do not doubt this. You will make horrible decisions. You will climb onto an idea and Thelma and Louise it off of a cliff. Pack a chute and don’t slow down.