This morning I walked by a big Dodge pickup truck absolutely covered in mud. It was a monster. Its tires came up to my mid-thigh, its cab was as tall as me, and the entire body was splattered in light brown speckles that can only come from intentionally running your truck through a muddy field at pretty high speeds.
How fun that must be, I thought. To not be restricted by the normal rules and obstacles on the road.
Our day-to-day drives are done on manufactured roads, with their rules, right of ways, and speed limits. These restrictions serve a purpose. They keep us safer by imposing shared standards for when to stop, who turns first, and how fast to drive. These roads are built to get us to where we need to be as safely and efficiently as possible. Certainly faster than the horse-and-buggy days when people drove through the mud because that was the only option.
But our everyday drives are usually pretty boring. Routine commutes and trips to the shop that we hardly even notice because we become so immune to the frequent and familiar routes that we repeat.
Sometimes it’s good to go off-road. To take a path that you didn’t plan, or to take a route that isn’t an actual path at all. It’s good free yourself from the restrictions of everyday life, to let your instinct tell you where to turn and when to accelerate. You might come back a little muddy some days. But going off-piste can bring new perspectives, unlock creativity, and rejuvenate you after a long stint through the familiar weekly grind. So from time to time, take a turn off the beaten path.
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