In the book I wrote recently, Upside Down Leadership, I mention a quote from Mencius. It goes something like this–“Before you decide what you will do, you must decide what you will not do.” True, there is some value in making a list of all the things we will not do.
For example, Susan and I made a list of all the things we wanted to do as we headed west. Now we are in the process of striking off the things weii don’t plan to do. We found ourselves surging to new stops, things people said we must see. Zion National Park was an example–massive monuments of stone which evoked a sense of awe. It was aptly named. The visitor center, however, was swarming with people. People were bumping into each other as they rushed to get to their project–a trail or a picture. I felt as though I was in Manhattan again.
I told Susan, “Give me more time at Tinker Creek and less time with Old Faithfull and all the tourists standing around taking pictures. I have had enough. Therefore, we have already decided another thing we will not do. We will not go to Mount Rushmore. I have seen pictures. I know there will be lots of tourists there taking pictures. I’m sure it is lovely and inspiring, but no thanks. It is the only location we had that has the word “rush” right in the name.
That is not what we are aiming at. This morning we angled to rush less, drinking Peet’s coffee from a cowboy coffee pot over an open fire. My brother loves Peet’s. Susan and I sat together and feasted on the deliciousness of not hurrying.