“Why?”, they ask. “Why not?” has been my answer back to a great many people asking about the project and cross-country cycling ride through Canada to help “end Malaria”.
Looking back on how I answered the questions, I feel as if I missed some major opportunities (and I did). An opportunity to get them involved, the opportunity to introduce them to books, manifestos, writers, authors and bloggers that in some way helped shape this adventure into what it is becoming. What a shame that I missed those chances.
Rather than listen to the questions, I defended my position.
Rather than listen, I tried to read (between the lines).
Rather than listen, I instead challenged them.
Not a great way to get people, that I know personally, involved. What I should have been doing is helping them understand and connecting the dots.
Rather than listen, and turn their questions into an open-ended and useful, insightful conversation, I chose to end it. Period, point, paragraph. And there was no more room for further advancement.
So what happened? I panicked. I reacted. I lashed out.
Panic. Was it the sudden realization that this trip is only 2 and a half months away? Am I prepared as I should be? What have I not done yet, what is left to do?
“Omg!” was the first thought to enter and cross my mind. Is this really going to be my first gut reaction to a question? We’re talking about a simple question. It’s not like I just witnessed a bomb exploding in a crowded market place.
React. The way we react to certain situations is a good indicator of preparedness. The “less than 1 second” a batter in baseball has to analyze, adapt and take action (swing) is a good indicator of his preparedness. How much training has he done? How many hours in the batting cage has he spent?
When you prepare for something, you become more familiar with the events that are expected to happen. Thus, you have a better reaction.
Lashing out. Remember pop-quizzes in school? If you weren’t prepared, they were awful. You lashed out a voice of complaint. Ever been doused by a bucket of cold water? You lash out and seek cover from the invading liquid. In both the examples we encounter actions that we react to. With the proper amount of preparation, the way that we react to them can be adjusted to make for a more positive experience.
Suffice to say that I need more preparation. Preparation will help when the Flinch is upon you.
What can you do to be more prepared? Practice. How can you engage in conversation and not react? Practice (listening and understanding). How can you show those around that you ARE prepared? Do it.