September 28, 2019

Which way to Pittsburgh?

Sent by Jonathan Stark on September 28th, 2019

Let’s say you were planning an “off-the-grid” hike from Providence, RI to Pittsburg, PA.

What would you pack?

Probably stuff like:

These would all be smart things to bring with you on a 500 mile hike in the northeastern US. 

But none of these items will point you in the right direction. They merely enable you to keep going. 

What you really need to get you to Pittsburgh is a compass and map - and if I had to choose one, I’d choose the compass.

Without a compass, the odds are high that you will walk for miles and miles out of the way. Or in the wrong direction. Or in circles.

Without a compass, what should be a 500 mile hike becomes a potentially infinite hike. No matter how good your boots or poncho or tent are, they won’t withstand an infinite hike. 

That said...

A compass doesn’t ensure that Pittsburgh is a great destination, nor does it ensure that you will get there in a straight line.


A compass does ensure that you won’t go in circles and will eventually get where you’re going, if you keep at it.

Here’s the thing...

Having a strategy is like having a compass. It’s doesn’t ensure that your objective is the right one, nor that you’ll reach it in a straight line. But it does ensure that you will eventually get there. 

Without a strategy, the odds are good that you’ll just end up going in circles until you give up.