Lessons From Running With The Bulls


Lessons can come from places you'd never expect.

Just take into consideration all the perspectives you may have read about lessons in life from the sandbox, kindergarten, samurai, and maybe even from the Grateful Dead (yes, there is a book on that one).

But the validity of real world insights and lessons had never become so polarized to me as when I visited Pamplona, Spain and found myself in the historic running of the bulls.

Here, in winding, cobblestone, and wet streets (from the cleaning crews washing off the residue of the revelry from the night before) of this beautiful Spanish town (did I mention very narrow streets?), I found there are lessons that apply well to life or business . . . and some that absolutely do not.

Lessons That Apply!

1.  Be present. If you don't show up and stay aware, you can only be a spectator. More importantly, the lack of awareness of what is happening around you can lead to missed opportunities to prosper or avoid very bad things happening to you.

2.  Be flexible. Have a plan, but be ready to make a change immediately. During the run, you quickly realize what lack of control you really have, even with all the planning in the world. Improvise and just keep moving.

3.  Make friends. Having someone to share thoughts, ideas, strategies and provide support along the way is not only helpful, it may save your life.  Journey's are better shared.


Lessons That DON'T Apply!

1.  Get up if you fall down. This is one of those grand tidbits in life that someone has or certainly will impart upon you. Not such as good idea during the run. If you fall, stay down unless you are absolutely certain there are not thousands of pounds of rampaging beef behind you with very sharp horns. Can't say I didn't worry a bit about karmic retribution for all those hamburgers and steaks I have eaten.

2.  Grab the bull by the horns. Carpe diem! Not here. In the run, it is highly recommended not to try to grab, touch, or in any way further taunt any part of the bull. Again, enjoy the journey, and don't tempt fate unless you are prepared to handle the consequences.

3.  Take selfies. I certainly hope this trend will continue to die a long slow death, and if anything, the run is helping the cause. Not only will it cause you to miss out on probably a once in a lifetime experience, in the run, it is illegal. Your lack of awareness and focus on yourself may kill or hurt you and others.