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Stephen Mayo | The Benefits of Crashing

The Benefits of Crashing

Jan. 2, 2022

Last June, I crashed while riding my bicycle.  I was on my way to a dentist appointment, I was hurrying, and I mis-gauged a roadway impediment by just enough to send me sprawling.

The crash was painful but not serious. No broken bones. Just scrapes and bruises.

For me there's a specific lesson here, and a broader lesson.

Specific lesson: "don't try to make up time on the road" (i.e. don't go faster than is safe just to make up time)

Of course, my father has been telling me this since I was 10 years old.  It helped a lot to hear him say it.  But it wasn't quite as pronounced as the lesson I learned hitting the pavement.

The broader lesson is:  Develop a bias toward action. Because nothing sticks as well as learning things the hard way.  And if you can find ways to "crash" in non-life-threatening ways, you might learn some vital lessons even more quickly. 

Applied more broadly, a bias toward action means:

Sure, you might "crash" in the process. But the lessons you learn along with way might be worth it too!


Just to be really clear: I'm not advocating riding your bike, or any vehicle, in an unsafe manner. I'm simply pointing out the lesson I learned here was so sharp that I realized there could be benefits of metaphorically "going faster" in other parts of my life.

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