“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
This quote has been in front of me for more than two years. I have thought about it and wondered how well I do this (moving forward). Then I wondered why I struggle with it so much.
This is my landing spot:
- I love to feel like I’m “flying” – like I’m in the zone. Things seem like they are more fun and more rewarding. It builds my confidence.
- I hate to “crawl” or struggle. It is hard, messy, and causes me to doubt myself. It makes me susceptible to the negative voice that tells me I can’t do this. I should give up.
- So it is safer to try to fly. But if I can’t fly, then I talk about why I can’t – I look for all the things that are preventing me from flying. In other words, I play the victim of the situation. It’s not my vault I can’t fly. Right??
In today’s world (business, sports, politics, relationships, etc.), we glamorize flying (going big, fast growth, huge product launch, the 3 pointer, the dunk, the big sack, skydiving to ask someone to prom, etc.). That is what we talk about, that is what we celebrate. We don’t celebrate people walking or crawling. We may not even notice those who keep moving forward and making progress. There are a lot of reasons why, but those don’t really matter.
What matters is the journey. All of it. The journey of life, work, parenting, relationships, the current hot initiative, the daily task, etc. For me, the quote is a reminder that I am ridiculously in-charge of moving forward. I need to focus on making progress on things within my influence. This allows me to fly, run, walk, and even crawl on a daily basis. And I should celebrate that. Then my focus is on the journey – not just on flying.
So the next time you get stuck or frustrated that you can’t fly, just remember that it is all important. Lead the Interstates Way by moving forward.
Scott Peterson, Interstates CEO