The Best Way to Begin

Yesterday, I was working at a desk with my laptop open, and someone stopped to ask me if I was from the Northwest.

I’m not, but I got there as fast as I could — and we spent a good few minutes talking about the place, the people, and the culture.

It turns out that we both miss a certain saddle up! learning style. There’s something in the culture out there that emphasizes figuring it out as you go. Each of us had learned to drive a four-wheeler that way: no manual-reading, and hardly any verbal instruction beyond, “This makes it go. Now come on — and don’t tip it over.”

A little later on, someone else asked for advice on how to find her people and start a conversation. I’m not sure there is a manual for that, and I didn’t try to give her one. Instead, I took a try-something-and-see approach.

Many of us spend an awful lot of time learning to read the manual, so it’s not surprising that we go looking for one in real life. But the truth is that not nearly as many things require as much manual-reading as we’re conditioned to think.

Sometimes it’s worth pushing buttons and making things go. It’s a good way to learn a lot quickly — and you probably won’t tip over.