This summer I went on a journey of discovery through beautiful Colorado, a colorful state that lives up to its name.
On this trip I drove along “the highest paved road” in Colorado. What an experience – in terms of scenery, driving technique and overall experience, too! Impressive views, lots of wildlife and a beautiful landscape of ice and snow to boot.
The paved road that was proudly advertised when I entered the park was bumpy and full of potholes. Some of them were so deep that you had to swerve so far to the side of the road that you had to be careful not to fall off the edge. Because – you guessed it – there were no guardrails. The road was steep and winding. I kept seeing cars that were unbelievably wide for the driving conditions. And there they were – the inappropriate speeders. But also overly cautious, slow-moving cars. There were even cyclists pedaling uphill. I vacillated between pity and admiration for them.
Herds of mountain goats and marmots crossed my path, too, often around a bend.
As you can imagine, caution was required. The ride elicited alternating feelings of excitement, exertion, fascination, and, admittedly, thrill.
Why am I writing about this for you?
In the photo I took, you can see a bend coming up. The road seems to lead into the unknown. Of course I knew that it would continue. But in what form and in what state? I had no idea. Nor did I know what was waiting for me around the bend. And at no point did I know when the road would come to an end at my destination.
At that moment, I began to think about life in general. We all have to deal with uncertainty on a regular basis. With ups and downs. Sometimes it’s bumpy, sometimes we feel like we’re teetering on the edge with no guardrails. And then there are those inspiring moments. Wonderful encounters, amazing experiences, moments of happiness. Everything happens with a feeling of effortless concentration. Cyclists often pass us with great effort, but they’re clearly highly motivated and, from our point of view, give off an aura of exhilaration. We may be fascinated by the ease with which they seem to master life.
And how often do we not know what will happen next?
How often do we drive by sight alone?
And how often do we see a bend ahead and don’t know what’s around it?
Even so, it somehow always seems to go on.
Our strategy? We adjust our equipment; we switch from bike to car or even walk for a bit. Maybe we even take a breather. For certain passages we look for companions, while for others, we go it alone. And we look back with pride at the distance we’ve already covered.
And when we see a bend ahead, some of us pick up the pace, while others pause for a moment and take a deep breath before continuing. Perhaps there is an alternate route, a plan B.
What is certain is that we are not alone around the bend. They are there too: the other drivers, cyclists and hikers.
In Colorado. Out there on the road. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere. And you know what? I was driving on my own, and yet I didn’t feel alone at all. Most of the other people there were considerate and supportive of each other and offered help when needed. No one honked or got angry.
If we were to draw an analogy to life here, it would be that we need to embrace our differences, accept that everyone has their own way of dealing with challenges, and that most importantly, we need to look out for each other, support each other, and be considerate of each other.
We all have our own individual personalities and when we look back on the formative events in our lives, it becomes clear that everyone has their own story. Who are we if we don’t accept, respect and appreciate them?
In this spirit, I wish you a reflective pre-Christmas season.
Go for it, go for your goal.
Your Crisis Manager