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February 1, 2019

Lesson 4: “I Don’t Know. Maybe.” is a great answer to many of life’s questions.

This is the fourth installment in a series of essays about some life lessons I learned on a recent enduro motorcycle adventure designed to help rejuvenate leaders. In total, we covered more than 275 miles from Sequoia National Forest to Yosemite National Park. During the day we rode hard, and at night we sat around the campfire having honest, vulnerable, and courageous conversations.

I’m pretty sure they had a plan, but if they did, they weren’t telling any of us.

At first, I thought Martin, one of our guides, was being aloof. Then I thought he was just being nonchalant. It even occurred to me that he might just be a jerk. Every time one of us asked him a question about the schedule or logistics, his answer was a very vague “I don’t know.” Sometimes he would answer with “Maybe.” And on a few occasions, we got the combo “I don’t know. Maybe.”

It went kinda like this.

One of us would ask, “Hey, Martin. We going to have lunch soon?”
“I don’t know,” he would respond.

“Martin, you think we are going to get some rain today?”
“Maybe.”

“Will there be a swimming hole at the campsite tonight, Martin?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”