“Why’s that happening?” – Lessons in curiosity

I’m a skeptical person. My initial reaction when I see something happening is to think that I know better, especially when it’s something I know well (like marketing or sales or increasingly being a founder).

I recently read the book Persuadable by Al Pittampalli which is, as you may guess, all about being open to (and actually being) persuaded when better information than your own presents itself or is presented.

I was recently skiing at Breckenridge, which is kind of my home mountain this year. This was my 5th or 6th day out, so I feel like I’m starting to know the mountain somewhat well (at least the 3 southern peaks, because they have the best terrain).

I got to the slopes about 1145 and headed up Peak 9 to then traverse to Peak 8. After a couple of (very entertaining) lift rides and a hike up to 12,998 feet, I was standing at the Imperial Summit where I dropped into some still fairly untouched powder.

As I got to the bottom, I traversed right (south) again because I had heard of this run called “Way Out”, which is patrolled by Ski Patrol but technically experts-only. Here’s how my route went:

As I traversed, I saw that there were a few tracks staying high but most people were dropping a bit early to go through what is technically the “correct” way to go.

But what ended up happening?

I ended up going through the “correct” way, which put me halfway down the slope and missing the best powder.


If you look at the image above, you’ll also see that I could have gone all the way across the top to Snow White and dropped from there to get ALL the powder. But, Snow White was closed today (though I didn’t know that till I got there nor did I know that would be the ideal way to go).

I learned a lesson the hard way today – take the route less traveled and you’ll likely be rewarded.

I didn’t allow myself to be convinced to do something other than what I had planned on – cutting a few turns through what seemed to be some decent powder (though very low angle) – when if I had listened to my curiosity I would have had a much more fun run.

So, listen to that curiosity. You may be surprised what you learn.

Oh, and always study the trail map.