How to Walk
We have forgotten how to walk. All we do is go places.
A proper walk doesn’t have a destination. Gwyn Thomas put it this way,
“But the beauty is in the walking — we are betrayed by destinations.”
Those who truly walk don’t sweat. Lacing up walking shoes during lunch is exercise, not walking. Walking is meandering and kicking stones.
Bad walks reflect what you’re escaping, they’re fast, pushing, even angry. But you can’t stay angry and stroll at the same time.
I’ve fallen out of the habit of walking with leaders. Now I sit and sip, rather than walk. I’ve forgotten that breakthroughs sneak up from behind while you walk.
Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
But, people who never walk, feed on old thought like vultures.
A walk without pauses isn’t a walk. When you really walk, you stop and gawk. You point. Wonder finds those who know how to walk. The rest of us understand the mechanics. We’ve lost the mystery.
“It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood.” Ernest Hemingway
I remembered the walk I took with my wife, before her visit with our daughter and grandchildren in Lancaster, PA. She was gone overnight. The day before she left, we held hands and walked over the hill and back. I don’t remember what we talked about. I remember how good it felt.
Grownups say, “Hurry up.” But, children know how to walk. They forget where they’re going. Children say, “Look! A dead worm! Isn’t this rock pretty? Why is the sidewalk cracked?”
Could you give yourself 20 minutes a week to walk – but not go anywhere? If you’re fortunate, you’ll remember the purpose of a real walk is just taking it.
It’s funny… I’m a runner, but lately I’ve been doing more walking. When I run, I get better exercise. When I walk, blog topics come out of nowhere and seem to write themselves.
Perhaps God walks slow.
Interesting. I can see how that would happen though. You’re able to see things clearly and be inspired by different sights.
I profited from a walk with you. Thank you for investing in my leadership.
Ahh yes. I remember walking through that neighborhood behind Subway. 🙂 Thanks for letting me join you. Seems it’s harder to forget a walk than a meeting.
The simple things in life are often the most meaningful. Dan , Thanks for reminding us.
Always a pleasure Chris.
Great points for inspiration, Dan. I love walking through the woods– so why don’t I do that more often? Gotta go now. I’m lacing up my walking shoes.
I’m enjoying my daughters and grandchildren today, off to Apple picking, walking, hand-holding, even carrying ..
Oddly my Outlook Alert said “no scheduled-events” – but life calls us to bigger things than Outlook Calendar …there’s a space waiting in the drawer for the BlackBerry today.
That’s fantastic Ken. Thanks for letting us know. I’m turning everything off this afternoon.
All I can say is yes. I take a walk every Sunday morning, but yes I need to slow it down.
Thanks bimuse, Sunday a.m. is a great time to walk….slowly 😉
My dogs help me do exactly that. Such pure joy! Great post for a Saturday. Thanks, Dan!
Good call, Marcia. We had a dachshund for many years…watching him walk was half the fun.
Ah. Enjoy your time with the dogs. They’re an amazing part of our lives (-:
Leaders should walk with golf clubs and further the links between the great game of golf and the game of leadership.
Thanks Bruce…”further the links” 🙂
Hi Dan! Good morning from Connecticut!
As an avid walker, I agree with this completely. You may be interested to know that Ghandi gave up his car and told everyone to walk, he said you see more by walking. Remember that all great civil rights protests were made by walking.
It is true that you see more by walking, getting out and walking around lets you see more than you would by driving by in a car, even at the slowest of speeds.
I try to take a 20 minute and/or 1.5 mile walk everyday. It also clears the head, you get out and see people, and notice things you may not have noticed before about your environment.
As far as leadership, you need to be able to get out and walk among all different types of people and look for things and experiences that you may not find anywhere else except by walking out of your comfort zone.
Where are you walking to today?
Have a great one!
Powerful said…real walking is seeing. Anything else is just traveling from one place to another.
AA Big Book the guide to successful living says prayer and meditation regularly are pretty good ideas.
Suggested only like if u jump out of a plane have a parachute strapped to your back.
Walking meditation is cool. Anything to slow down the ego’s constant chatter to get to a quiet mind.
I have found it much easier to practice the presence of God when my mind is vewy quiet hhhhuuuhhhhuuuuhhhh(Elmer Fudd reference)
Yeah practicing steps 4 through 9 result in a quiet mind and a peaceful heart. Or keep trying ur way trying to wrest happiness and satisfaction out of this life only if you manage well, silly wabbit!!!! (More Elmer!!!!)
Seemingly a good payoff for following the directions I always say. Ok never said that but will many many times from now on.
Have a great weekend, go Dawgs and Heels!!!!
SP back to now!!!
I appreciate the idea of “walking meditation” even if it sounds too advanced for me. 🙂
Walking clears the mind of cobwebs and detritus from the last time you walked. True walking (meandering with no specific destination) allows for cleansing and reconnection – with yourself or your walking companion(s). Leaders need to walk outside the lines of the specific job requirements in order to “see” anew their business, team, etc…
I believe in the power of a good walk.
Thanks Dan for the posting which allows me and others to read about how you, and they approach this subject.
Have a good walk!
…one of your better post, very intriguing.
My husband and I walk to the kids to school and then on to work each day – we have a place to get to but still find it an important part of the day. It clears the mind, generates ideas and prepares us for the day ahead. We arrive at work later yet get more done…
I took a walk recently, the Camino Frances, which started out as ‘having’ to walk 30 kms per day or a set destination each day … That lasted 3 days. Then the Camino led me; what a truly wonderful walk it was physically and spiritually over 31 days and 800+ kms. I am now home but wander whenever I can, to explore and enjoy 🚶. Walking is GOOD, clears the mind and gives one the opportunity of meeting so many other walkers, those meandering not just the path.
Liked the post and your out-of-box thinking.
Walking gives you a space to think, look around and appreciate the nature, meet people and spread the smile while wishing each other, do prayers, and plan for the day/future with a peace of mind, when alone. When you are with someone, it gives an opportunity to talk quietly and jointly review or plan activities. Walking rejuvenates energy, helps in talking to the self and enjoy the surroundings.
Leaders need to walk through the work place areas alone or with those who inform on the people working in the respective departments/divisions/locations, talk of their issues and look for solutions or welfare of all.
Successful leaders or CEOs/MDs have a regular practice of coming out of their cabins, taking rounds with good observation and interacting with various cadres of people to know the pulse of their organizations.
You have hinted on a real good quality of any leader to walk, talk, think and look for the welfare of his people with regular slow walks.
Loved this post, Dan. Truly inspirational and full of wisdom. Indeed the the journey and our mindfulness during that is itself the destination.
I am a runner as well, but walking really does seem to get the blog juices flowing. Great article, I’m sharing it!
So so true. “Thanks for the inspiration Dan”!Cheers o
This is amazing. My grandmother knew how to walk. I think my grandpa did too…but he was military and that stemmies the wonder, I think. I’m going to try this, starting Monday tomorrow! Thank you!
Now this is what I do, I love to encourage people to get outdoors. Great one I will share this.
Love this! I have the privilege of walking to and from school each day— I love enjoying the walk like this.
I walk every lunchtime. Invariably that’s when I solve problems. Ideas seem to just flow.
I think the most important thing about truly walking is not about not having a destination, it is about being present while you are walking. You speak to this Dan, when you mention stopping to look at things. Taking delight in the surroundings and stopping to wonder at the beauty of nature centers you in the present moment (as opposed to in our thoughts about the past or the future – such as the destination). I find that the more I manage to be in the present moment, the more I am inspired with ideas when I return from my walk and the more balanced I become. It is a topic I am truly passionate about – I blog about this a lot on my own website. It is so great that you have brought it into connection with leadership (the actual reason I am on your list).
Great insights Dan,
I’m going for a walk now. Let’s see what it brings 🙂
Sounds like me. I am very wrapped up in doing and task achievement like most people in business. When I am conscious about my habit I can laugh at myself and see that I am operating just like a dog going for a bone, all instinct and muscle with no guile or thoughtfulness. Yet ironically, I can just go for a walk or other comparable experiences and be just like Thoreau but is not easy.
What I have found that works for me personally is a change of “space.” I need to go to an isolated location out of my house or place of work and then I am quite capable of just going for a walk. The other alternative is to do the walk talking with others who are engaged in the same way- I have a very difficult time sitting and meditating on my own but when I am with a group I slip right into it, peacefully and quietly.
What works for you?