The Green Light Walk
My friend, ReallySmartGuy and I have this thing that we do whenever we get together; I call it our Green Light Walk.
The premise is simple. We meet up, we start walking, we start talking and we don’t stop … for anything. When we come up to a traffic light at an intersection we take the path of least resistance. We don’t stop, we don’t hesitate but without thinking we adjust our path to follow the green light, thereby never breaking stride, never losing our thread of conversation. It’s like a stream of consciousness; in fact it IS a stream of consciousness and allows for one.
Of course this could be a metaphor for something larger. The idea that life is easier if you allow it to offer up things and follow through on the course it reveals for you. I have travelled around the world many times like this, a global Green Light Walk if you will, flowing from one destination to the next and see where the path of least resistance leads me. That’s not to suggest that following the Green Light is not without challenges and/or taking you out of your comfort zone (see The 7 Tenets of an Experience Junkie). Embracing what life offers up and surrendering control and opening up yourself to the experience are challenges in themselves …. as are the hills, the sketchy neighbourhoods, and congested ares we may pass through on our way to the next Green Light.
Another friend, Entrepreneur, once told me, “Michael, life is much easier if you just say ‘yes’ to things that come along.” I’ve always remembered that and found that it actually works (for me).
One of the best years of my life (through a series of coincidences), ReallySmartGuy and I managed three different Green Light Walks around the globe. First in Sydney just prior to his wedding, then in London where I had come to visit him en route to a move I was making to New York, and for a third time that year, in New York after my friend had trumped my move to the Big Apple with a new job there and relocation of his own.
As you can imagine, when we finally conclude our Walk – we usually allow for our conversation to come to a natural end, or commitments call – we’re often lost. Having surrendered our destination to the journey, and often so engrossed in our spirited intellectual exchange we have to take figure out where we are and find our way back … but then that’s the other half of our fun.