Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Hitchhiker's Guide, Flying, And Success

In Douglas Adams' brilliant book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, there's this wonderful definition of the art of flying.
There is an art, it says, or, rather, a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day, it suggests, and try it.
It says that trick is to miss the ground in such a way that you don't notice you've missed it.
One problem is that you have to miss the ground accidentally. It's no good deliberately intending to miss the ground because you won't. You have to have your attention suddenly distracted by something [...] by, say, a gorgeous pair of legs (tentacles, pseudopodia, according to phyllum and/or personal inclination) or a bomb going off in your vicinity, or by suddenly spotting an extremely rare species of beetle crawling along a nearby twig, then in your astonishment you will miss the ground completely and remain bobbing just a few inches above it in what might seem to be a slightly foolish manner.
I think that's true about success too. The harder I try to get it, the more it eludes me. But when I stop trying too hard, I find it, almost accidentally, each time.

2 comments:

Aditi said...

I always loved this book...so much of it applies to one's life, that its almost uncanny :)

Heidi said...

totally agree with this one...