Breakpoints & Resilience: Why Sidewalks Are Sexy

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

"There's no doubt the ground will shift.  The question is: when it does, will you be ready?" - Seth Godin

Nobody wants to talk about sidewalks.  Sidewalks are boring.  The opposite of sexy.  A whole bunch of the infrastructure behind our daily lives is pretty much the same:  bo-ring.  Un-sexy. 

The quote above is from Seth's Blog.  It's about putting in breakpoints.  Breakpoints are the lines between the sections in a new sidewalk.  As Godin says, "The ground shifts.  When it does, perfect concrete cracks in unpredictable ways, often ruining the entire job.  When you put the breakpoints in on purpose, though, the concrete has a chance to absorb the shifts, to degrade effectively."

This is about everyday stuff:  sidewalks.  We minimize the risk of a sidewalk cracking by putting in breakpoints.  We don't fear that it will crack; we take measures to prevent it.  We build a resilient sidewalk.  And then we go about using it.  For the most part, it stays in pretty good shape.

Here’s the thing:  something’s going to happen either way.  The only constant is change.  

There is really no such thing as security, because we can never guarantee that we’re not going to go through stuff.  We are going to have challenges, accidents, and the unexpected.  That’s the nature of this place.

This is why we need to be resilient.  Resilience helps us bounce back when stuff happens.

Looking at risk ahead of time and putting some things in place - breakpoints - can help us mitigate some fear, live freer lives, and be better able to handle a challenging world.  Plus, when we're resilient, we're better positioned to take care of ourselves and our people... and to keep getting better at it. 

Like a sidewalk... when we're severely stressed, we won't break.  We can find our way forward.  We can get through tough times.  When we're resilient, we can deal with what life brings us.  We're more confident.  We're stronger.

That is sexy.

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