In the last few years I have religiously preceded my signature with the closing phrase ‘Keep Walking!’ All good things are worth replicating and I felt no shame in stealing this idiom from my professor during my MBA days. The reader is pardoned to believe that my inspiration has been the punch line from a prominent scotch brand. People who know me may even believe that this is my show of affection towards my favorite vice. Drinking!
I seldom put things into use the moment I pick it up. I toyed with the idea for a couple of years after my theft trying to understand the full meaning of the phrase that I so instantly liked. It came to me little by little like a flirtatious teenager but never submitting itself completely. Even today I found a new meaning to the phrase.
We live in a very plural world. Be it at home, office or in transit we function as a pack of individuals and hence our need to communicate. However communication is more often than not from one to oneself. Advice is as much self assurance to the advisor as it is to the benefit of the advisee. Keep Walking is applicable to both the person I address and to myself and all in between. Metaphorically and at a high level it means ‘keep going’ towards your goal and as they are achieved proceed towards new ones.
However at a day to day level it brings in a whole new meaning; it’s the war cry during extreme opposition and when you know you are right; it’s a trendsetter for innovativeness; it’s the pace at which a test batsman takes on an innings; it’s the commitment of the believer; it’s the expectation of the lover; it’s the karma of the yogi;
Some of my efficiency centric friends have suggested why not ‘Keep Running!’ Physically walking comes more naturally to us than running. ‘Walking’ assumes a constant direction but the pace may change adapting to the features and challenges thrown at you. The answer is it’s more about consistency than speed, hence the word ‘Keep’. It’s about visionary revolution than juvenile sporadic rebellion. It’s about long term relationships than one night stands. It’s about repetitive continuous improvement which our business schools preach. And finally the exclamation mark’!’ It’s a symbol of assertiveness. The exclamation is an outcry to awaken others and the one within.
I am aware on the eulogizing attempt here of a simple phrase. But as a husband, son, boss, peer and friend this mantra has helped me become a better person. I provide less room for distractions and I can feel people around me being more focused. Keep Walking is no more just a closing statement or a motto to live with. It has served more than its purpose. Keep Walking has become an integral part of my personality and I am sure has touched a chord with all those it has made contact.