I'll never forget the first time I read Philippe Petit's story. In August of 1974 he spent 45 minutes making eight passes across a 26' high-wire (1350 feet above the ground) tied across each Twin Tower in NYC. The World Trade Center had just opened. Petit was 24 years old.
His scandalous adventure received world wide attention. But did Petit risk his life simply to become famous? Doubtful.
After watching many interviews of him, the trend I noticed over and over was his proclamation, "it was peaceful out there". Petit walked the wire during the ending of the Vietnam War, in an era of political and nuclear unrest. Literally weeks before Petit's walk, Nixon had resigned the presidency due to the Watergate controversy.
Petit stretched the boundaries of his talent to gain perspective. And, as a performer I believe he wanted to bring hope during a time of distress.
It's not a coincidence, 1974 was the year the TV shows Happy Days and Good Times aired. People needed the hope of a better era.
And so against all odds, the elements of weather and wind, societal pressure of an unauthorized feat, emotional and psychological terror Philippe Petit took on the challenge of liberation vs death by walking his high-wire to find his peace and a new perspective.
As an entrepreneur I deeply relate to Petit's desire for this kind of peace and perspective. We entrepreneurs tend to want to take on the world, and we do. We are the super heroines and heroes after all.
Yet, one of the side effects of doing to much is that, overtime, with hardly a notice, the world around you shrinks and becomes smaller and smaller.
A lack of socialization, abandonment of friends, most importantly abandonment of yourself.
As entrepreneurs I think we often find ourselves judging our cadence and feel out of sync because we tend to get 'stuck in a rut'.
REMINDER: It's the ongoing tempo that creates the magic.
There is a natural ebb and flow to the world of entrepreneurship much like what can be found in nature. A natural pattern can be found in the rising and setting of the sun, in the push and pull of a high and low tide, and in the beautiful balance of the masculine and feminine. Even the most incredible dancers seem to float across the floor with the 'two steps forward and one step back' rhythm. For Philippe Petit it was walking a high-wire while dancing with the wind higher than he'd ever been before.
May we all find our 'peace out there'. Access the perspective you need, using your unique super powers by walking your high-wire. When you do, you'll be reminded of what's most important.