A gentleman flew in from Texas this morning to test ride one of our bicycles. He’s decided to get back into shape, and came to the decision that by buying a really excellent bicycle, he’d be more likely to use it every day. We think that’s a great reason to buy one of our bikes.
And, there’s a tendency when we want to make a radical shift in our lives — whether it’s exercise, career, or relationship — to make radical commitments.
We promise ourselves that we’ll exercise for an hour each day, but we eventually fall off the wagon. One day we’re a little sick. Then it’s raining out. Or we had a terrible day at work. This leads to disappointment, and self-blame — which is no fun. Eventually it’s easier to quit altogether.
I was a long distance runner for almost 20 years, but I never ran a race.
In fact, my only commitment was to run for 5 minutes every day. Rain or shine, no matter how I felt, I’d run for 5 minutes. Usually I’d just go around the block — slowly. Neighbors got used to see me shuffling past the mailbox.
And, occasionally 5 minutes would magically turn into 20 — then 60. Sometimes I’d find myself so far away from home that I’d have to telephone for a ride back.
I get a lot of emails from people who want to know how I’ve managed to have success creating so many different, interesting things — from film, to software, to Kidrobot, to some of the greatest city bikes ever made.
Here’s my secret: Even though my vision is relentlessly high— I’m famously obsessive about detail and quality — I don’t have expectations that things will actually work out as planned. After all, the only thing I really can expect is that something unexpected will happen. And the only commitment I’ve made is to show up to work each day, and do my best, for at least 5 minutes.
Success is an accident. Showing up, even if it’s just for 5 minutes, makes us accident-prone.