The Broken Line Solution

by Hunch on September 18, 2011 · 6 comments

in Leadership/Management

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line; correct?  Geometrically this is true but as is the case so often the complexities of life render theories that workout so nicely on paper of little consequence to daily occurrences.  The other day I had to take a detour to work; already unhappy with the added mileage and time I was further delayed by a very slow driver.  I found myself desperately searching for a dashed line to no avail.  With all the spare time I suddenly found myself struggling through, I quickly realized that I’ve never passed another vehicle except when multiple lanes move in the same direction.  This immediately dismayed me because I vividly recall that as a little boy I would always keep my eyes open for the fragmented line indicating the ability to pass and an open opposing lane providing safe circumstances.  It didn’t matter who was driving me or what their response was; I didn’t care if the car in front of us was going an appropriate speed, or if there wasn’t enough room I simply wanted the car I saw in front of me to be in the rearview and I expressed this with the simple command of “pass that car.”  The entire drive I would be focused on finding passing opportunities but now I often forget this is an option except when I’m stuck behind someone who would lose a race to a pedestrian and blocked in by a long yellow line.


I was right as a child; you should always look for the dashed line, the competitive edge while shrugging off the yolk of conformity and tossing aside blinders allowing yourself to throw caution to the wind, push the envelope to extend its limit, and aggressively pursue your goals.  Whether on an asphalt road or on the proverbial road of life look for the dashed line, count faded paint and breaks caused by tar repairs while remembering it is better to ask forgiveness than permission.  People are afraid to give permission because if something goes wrong it is on them and being right absolves you of almost anything; even if you are wrong plausible deniability and gumption can protect you both.  The shortest geometric distance between two points is a straight line but the shortest time, and occasionally only path, to your destination is availing yourself of every competitive advantage you possibly can and creating them when they don’t immediately present themselves.  I’m going to start focusing on dashed lines and putting those between me and my goals in the rearview.  I was jogging once and was passing an old man also jogging; he impressed me for two reasons, firstly, he was running  and must have been at least 70 and secondly, the back of his shirt read “I may not be fast but I’m faster than you.”  I bet he always looks for dashed lines and judging from the new Rolls in his driveway it’s a sound strategy.  It isn’t good enough to be the second slowest gazelle; that may keep you from being eaten but is that really your life’s goal?  If your objective is simply to not be eaten,  please read If You Don’t Win, You Lose.


Tilt when you shouldn’t and tenaciously attack your obstacles and achieve your goals using every passing opportunity to advance yourself.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron_Williams 09.19.11 at 16:26

I hate when you waste the extra gas to accelerate and pass someone only to come to a stop light further down the road and have them roll up behind you.

neveroddoreven 09.23.11 at 09:48

The other day I went for a bike ride. My favorite route has signs every meter saying how far you have travelled. I came across a sign saying ‘15951 meters’ and thought ‘Oh, that’s interesting, it is a number palindrome because it reads the same from left to right as right to left’. Then I rode on. Excatly two hours later I came across the next palindromic number sign. How fast (meters/hour) was I going?

Hunch Hunch 09.23.11 at 14:37

Mr. Palindrome:

The next palindromatic number would be 16061 for a difference of 110 meters or 55 meters per hour on your two hour ride.

P.S. 55 meters an hour is approximately 60 yards an hour for those of us in the U.S.; and my grandmother can out run, make that walk, you on your bike.

Hunch Hunch 09.23.11 at 14:47

Post Post Script

Are you sure you didn’t just fall asleep,wake up two hours later, stand up and read the sign from the same position?

neveroddoreven 09.23.11 at 15:05

hmm that is slow. I must have listened to you and taken an indirect route…

True story.

PS PalindroMATIC isn’t a word. Palindromic is.

Race Fast, Safe Car

Hunch Hunch 09.23.11 at 17:27

I’m sorry but you clearly are missing the point you are supposed to deviate to get ahead; not to fall behind.

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