Success is Like a Stroll into Traffic

This morning I found myself in a predicament. I was trapped on the wrong side of the road from the bus I needed to catch. Cars zooming by stood between me and getting to the bus before it departed.  Frustratingly, I knew that as soon as the light changed and made it for me to safely cross, the bus would drive away. It was infuriating because the thing I was so desperate for was right in front of my face, yet unreachable.

Beside me was a man I’d never spoken to, but recognized from the bus every morning. He was tall and always wore professional attire – clearly on his way to work as well. As I reluctantly accepted my fate of having to catch the next bus, he did something else.

He casually walked into the traffic. Not in a gap in the flow of traffic – right into it! He didn’t run, or look even slightly nervous. He casually, calmly walked across the street. Cars slowed down for him, drivers staring at him in bewilderment.  He had this crazy confidence about him – like he knew no one would hit him, like he was above even worrying about things like that. And he got the bus.

I, of course, waited for the light, and even though I ran across, it still left without me. I was 20 minutes late for work, and he presumably got wherever he was going in good time.

He did something that was objectively stupid, and I didn’t, but he succeeded in his goal and I didn’t.

As I waited for the next bus, I thought about that. Maybe that’s what success is all about. Doing objectively stupid things with the confidence of a God. The way he sauntered across the street – forcing everyone else to slow down, controlling the people around him instead of letting them control him through sheer force of will and dumb determination. That’s what you have to do. Ignore the obstacles, or the things that could damage you, and just go. Don’t wait for the light to change. Don’t catch the next bus. Catch the one you want when you want it because damnit, you can. Maybe success is about taking gigantic risks, not playing it safe – about doing things that shock people, doing whatever it takes to reach the end goal.

Maybe success is about blindly walking into traffic. (But not literally. That man was clearly insane!)