How To Perform World Changing Bad-Assery!
So, you want to kick some serious ass?
Here’s a life changing secret to guarantee your success…
What!?! You say.
I want to kick ass not get my ass kicked. You must have me mistaken with some mere mortal.
I’m a superhero!
Yup, I know. But here’s the thing.
Being a superhero means you’re going to fail way more than the average mortal. It’s what comes with realizing your greatness. You’re going to challenge yourself more and push your limits more. Failure under those conditions is inevitable.
A few years ago I wanted to spend an extended period of time with my parents in Toronto. I knew I would be gone for at least three or four months so I decided to pack what I needed into my 1982 Cadillac Seville and drive cross country from Los Angeles.
I was going through a bit of a rough patch and I wanted to use the drive as a time for reflection. To make the most of my cross country adventure I made a few decisions.
- Drive solo with only my dog Foxxie for company
- Camp out each night
- No cell phone
- No speaking during the entire trip
The conditions for my trip set up lots of opportunities for failure. Many friends and family members reminded me of that in the weeks leading up to the trip.
A woman traveling alone! An old car! No communication device! Camping! No talking! Are you crazy!
I did it anyway.
I was nervous as I set out. Besides the dry run I’d done one afternoon in Griffith Park, which consisted of me learning how to erect the tent I’d just bought, I’d never camped before.
I worried what people would think when I handed them my homemade note that said…
Staying quiet was challenging in the beginning. Foxxie was freaked out by my attempts to talk to her via hand gestures. With speaking no longer an outlet, my mind raced and a lot of anxious feelings came up.
But then something fascinating happened. The longer I stayed quiet, the more connected I felt to everything around me. I could sense the different energies of cities as I drove through them. Tulsa felt great. I became aware of the temperature changing even one degree.
My fears of how people would react were unfounded. Many didn’t understand what I was doing and so chose to treat me as if I were deaf, talking to me in a loud voice. But everyone I came in contact with seemed to revert back to their basic nature…gentle and caring.
Despite clocking a lot of driving hours and the added work of setting up and breaking down my camp, by the fourth day my mind had quieted and I was feeling completely at peace. I was amazed at how easy it was to drive in silence. I thought without the radio on I’d struggle to stay awake but that wasn’t the case. It was like I’d tapped into a personal power source that kept me energized.
I had one more night of camping. This was going to be a huge accomplishment for me made sweeter by the fact that most thought I was crazy to do this adventure.
And then the “check engine” light came on in my car.
The car was still moving but I could tell it was beginning to labor. My first thought was shit! I might not make it to my next campground.
My next thought was shit! It’s Sunday. It’s late in the afternoon and I’m in the middle of nowhere, Illinios. How the hell am I going to get this car fixed?
I pulled off the highway and found an auto parts store that was open. I got the name and number of a mechanic they said might be willing to look at my car on a Sunday. As I picked up the phone to call him I realized there was no way I could make this phone call and honor my silent sabbatical. Talking was quickly reinstated.
Scooter, the man who came out to look at my car, told me he couldn’t find anything wrong with it. Turns out the computer, most mechanics use to diagnose problems, doesn’t work on old Cadillacs. He sent me on my way saying, if I broke down anywhere between here and Chicago, he’d come pick me up. Not the most comforting parting words when you have no cell phone.
With no other choice, I got back on the road. I had a feeling I was going to have to find a Caddy dealership in order to fix whatever was wrong with my car. Nowhere near a big city, the odds of that seemed pretty low.
My silent sabbatical high had taken a major hit but I still felt deeply connected and so I asked my inner voice for guidance. Where is the best place for me to pull off for the night?
I probably drove another twenty or thirty minutes.
I was anxious.
I didn’t know how much longer the car would last and I wasn’t getting any guidance from my inner voice.
Should I just keep going, try to make it to the campground? Play it safe and get off the highway right now? Hold out a little longer?
And then I heard it.
The quiet voice in my head whispered “this is it, you’ve reached your destination”.
Without hesitation, I took the next exit. I found a motel right off the highway and just as I pulled into the parking lot my car died!
Checking into the motel and being forced to speak again so abruptly was tough. I fought back the wave of sadness that hit me as I accepted things weren’t going to end the way I’d envisioned. Turns out my friends and family were right. It was risky driving an old car across the country by myself.
I decided to place my focus on my next challenge instead, finding the nearest Cadillac dealership. As I looked through the phone book, I braced myself for the realization I’d be forced to tow my car some 45 miles to Chicago to get it fixed.
And then I saw it.
A Caddy dealership!
A mile away and on the exact same street as the motel I was in. I sat there for a moment in disbelief at my good luck. But then it hit me, this wasn’t luck, this was magic. My intuition had led me right here.
Maybe my friends and family weren’t right. Had I listened to their concerns and avoided all the risks involved with this trip, I never would have discovered just how powerful our intuition can be when we give it space and quiet to be nurtured.
Tyler Tervooren over at Advanced Riskology calls these failures “happy accidents” — things that weren’t expected or didn’t go quite right, but ended up being great experiences anyway.
Performing world changing bad-assery requires us to embrace failure every time we tussle with it. Welcome it. We have to flip the script and instead of viewing the failure as a setback, look for the opportunity and how it can help us evolve as superheroes.
My happy accident made me realize intuition is a superpower!
The next morning, my Caddy got towed to the dealership and I was back on the road by 10am.