Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

All you need to know is…

I was introduced to a story shared by Larry and Ann McDuff about the lessons they learned long-distance hiking by Seth Godin a while back, and it immediately resonated with me.  I went to share it with my son’s FIRST Robotics coach recently and was dismayed to discover that the original link no longer worked.  Fortunately, the Wayback Machine didn’t disappoint.

Five years ago we started the Appalachian Trail with nearly three times our starting pack weight this year. Two weeks into that hike we met Keith, trail name Wolf, a legendary long-distance hiker.

On the trail, the most respected hikers are the ones with the fewest possessions. Wolf was carrying a super-small pack which weighed 14 pounds including food and water. When asked how he got his pack weight so low, Wolf would reply, "All you need to know is that it's possible."

Think about that last line for a minute. Can you think about a time where simply knowing that something was possible allowed you to rise to an occasion, to solve a problem you might have otherwise have given up on?  

And now, what if you take it one step further.  What if you assumed that the task you were tackling was solvable... does that present a different set of options for you than if you had gone into it not knowing whether or not it can be solved?

 Lightweight Living