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by: Bernard Teo

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Sun 06 May 2007

The White Road Journey

Category : Commentary/WhiteRoadJourney.txt

Gary Erickson, in "Raising The Bar - Integrity and Passion in Life and Business", makes a distinction between White-Road bike journeys and Red-Road ones.

"Michelin maps defined roads as red, yellow, or white. Main roads, busy with buses, trucks, and cars, were marked boldly in red. Yellow roads were minor arteries, not as big as red roads but well traveled. The hundreds of roads branching off from the red and yellow roads were marked in white. We started on the red road, moved to the yellow, and by day three our mantra became ride the white road. White roads held adventure as well as the most spectacular views. We met people face-to-face rather than at bus stops or gas stations...

We felt happy with our performance and exhilarated by the adventure, the people we met, and the beauty of the roads. We hadn't set out with a final destination in mind, and when our time was up, we found ourselves in Innsbruck, Austria... We were as strong as we had ever been and as happy. We relished the white roads, the true roads "less traveled".

"We hadn't set out with a final destination in mind."

Years later, Erickson, maker of Clif Bar energy bars for athletes, faced wth having to sell his company or to go on ahead as an independent entrepreneur, drew on his experience on the white-road jouneys to decide that it's the journey that's going to be the greater reward.

This book is a great read of those of us who find ourselves lost, from time to time, on our own white road journeys - for you do get lost on those white roads. It's for remembering that being lost is part of the pleasure of the journey when you're not moving to the beat of someone else's drum. Life has a way of opening up interesting new vistas (and I'm not talking of the Microsoft kind), at the next turn, when you least expect it.

Two other great books, if you're into such stuff, are Yvon Chouinard's Patagonia - "Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman", and Dean Karnazes's "Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner".

Posted at 8:12AM UTC | permalink

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