“The man is obviously crazy. Are we just here to watch him die?”
That’s what his friends asked themselves. The man is Philippe Petit.
The morning of August 7th, 1974, he and his crew raised a steel cable between the two towers of the World Trade Center and then…he walked on it. For 45 minutes, 1300 feet in the air.
It was extremely dangerous and highly illegal. But today, he is a legend. An idol. An inspiration to millions.
Uncertainty sucks. Big time. We hate it. Hate it. But we all know it’s between us and the things that make life worth living. That’s why we celebrate those who faced it.
Philippe faced a tremendous amount of uncertainty, compressed into 45 minutes of life or death. That’s why he’s a hero. But what about his friends? What about their uncertainty? For months, they helped him plan the coup, not knowing if he’d survive.
That’s terrifying too - and equally worth commending. The longer uncertainty is drawn out, the harder each additional day becomes.
Maybe, you’ve been waiting for important test results for months. Approaching the birth of a child, not knowing if it’ll go okay. Working towards an important deadline, unsure whether the judges will like the result.
When the mountain is high, every day is a new chance to let it get to you. Of course, our only job is to carry away small stones. To focus on that task, trusting your gut helps.
Let the clock run. Allow other matters to fly by. Direct your attention to what’s in front of you - and let your gut figure out the rest.
If you feel tired, go to sleep. If a coffee sounds refreshing, go get one. And if you crave fresh air, take a walk outside. Sometimes, it takes a while to know what’s what. So tune in to your gut. Don’t rush. Listen.
Sooner or later, the deadline comes, the test is returned, the man walks on the wire - and balance is restored. The uncertainty fades away.
Philippe Petit had a strong gut. Deep down, he always knew he had to walk up there. There was no alternative. Your gut may not point you to such lofty feats, but it still knows what you need.
If you take the time to let it speak, it’ll help you weather any storm.
About Slow Down Sunday: Life is fast. If we don’t stop and turn around once in a while, we might miss it. So on Sunday, let’s stop and turn around.
Let’s slow down so we can experience all of life - not just parts of it.
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