Picking the right line

Fresh powder is the best thing any skier can wish for. Getting the first tracks through new snow is a heavenly experience that we all dream about. As a powder day goes on and thousands of blades push the snow around a curious pattern forms.

There are mounds of snow all over the slope. These are called moguls and navigating them provides an interesting metaphor for today’s post.

You can’t just power through moguls and turn wherever you want. You have to pick the right line, or else you will look and feel out of control on the bumpy slope.

Last weekend I blindly ignored this principle for a few hours and struggled down countless slops. Then I realized there was no point. The art is picking the line, NOT powering through a poorly chosen route. When I focused on the craft of respecting the moguls rather than ignoring their force, I had a much easier time.

There’s a great lesson in here about the paths we choose in our businesses, activities and lives.

I often hear a common narrative that praises grit and perseverance at all costs. You do need that sometimes, but sometimes shear willpower isn’t your best bet. Sometimes you just need to pick a better line.