Russell Turner

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This Seriously Saved My Life

2019-02-11

I was on the freeway, zooming on my new, green, Kawasaki Ninja 250R on a brisk weekday morning. I moved into the center lane and opened her up to 70 mph or so to pass a semi-truck. The draft alongside the truck, the wind in the Willamette Valley, and my inexperience were a recipe for disaster.

Midway past the truck, the forces started to pull me in. As I leaned, uncontrollably, I drifted toward the truck. I knew there was nothing I could do. As I slammed against the side of the truck, I just closed my eyes, relaxed, and let go.

When I looked up, after flying over the front of the bike and skidding on my ass, feet first, down the highway, I was shocked and elated to see human faces (instead of angels) staring down at me.

I've thought about this moment many times in the 12 or so years since that crash. If I'd have tried to stop the inevitable, jerked the bike away, or fought the fall, I'm certain I'd be dead. I believe I'm alive today because of that decision not to fight it, just to let it go.

And the reason this came to mind today, is because I've noticed the same pattern across my life. As a type-A achiever, I'm often getting in my own way. Instead of letting my subconscious free to produce the best work I can in the moment, I hold myself back, try to edit it, try to get it perfect. But when I've done my best work, I've just let it go.

Next time you're doing something important, let it go. Catch yourself holding back for perfection and free yourself to do it justice. It isn't life or death on a motorcycle, but... maybe it is.

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