I read an article in American Motorcyclist Magazine titled, “8 Reasons to Feel Good About Riding a Motorcycle.” The article addressed the environmental benefits of motorcycling including less emissions, gas use, and space taken. I don’t think this is why most riders feel good about riding a motorcycle. But the article did make me think about why I do what I do both personally and professionally.
For years, I had a difficult time explaining why I ride a motorcycle. Most of my medical friends called me a “future organ donor”. Many of my friends think it’s a waste of time and money. But it was always more to me than a mode of transportation. Then, I read the opening page to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirisig.
“In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle, the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”
That’s it. That paragraph describes why I ride. It’s more than the bike, it’s the experience.
Why do you do what you do? Is it for the task itself or is it for the experience?
I suggest that when we’re engaged in any activity with the goal of creating a great experience, the activity becomes more meaningful. Whether it’s a meeting, grocery shopping, or going to the dentist, try seeing the activity in another way.