Wild Girl

Cougar Mountain, Issaquah

On Cougar Mountain. A good place to be wild.

“I’m tired of being good at camp,” my 7-year-old daughter said.

That got my undivided attention.

“What do you mean?” I asked her. We were driving to the kids’ first day of wilderness camp, one of a string of camps this summer.

“I always stay by the counselor, do what they say,” she mumbled, looking out the window.

“What if you were wild today?” I asked her.

I want my girl to be wild, to run like a crazy thing, to test any limits she sees around her. Wilderness Awareness School can handle a little wildness.

She looked at me dubiously.

“What if I bribed you? I’ll take you to the ice cream store if you can tell me stories about being wild today,” I said.

We suddenly had my 9-year-old son’s attention. “I’ll take you, too, if you help her be wild,” I told him.

“And you both get an extra scoop if you get in trouble.”

After I dropped the kids off, I thought about being good, about how limiting it is to be well behaved.

How following the rules can get you nowhere.

I’ve been seeing that theme show up with my career coaching clients recently. “Is it okay if I send him an email?” one client asked me about following up with a networking contact. “She said to call if I had any questions — should I?” another asked about a job lead.  ”You can do that?” asked another.

“Yes! Do it! Go for it!” I tell my careful, well-behaved career coaching clients. “What’s the worst that can happen — you’ll get in trouble?”

Both kids were full of wild stories when I picked them up at the end of the day. And both successfully got in trouble.

Double scoops all around.