“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.

Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it” 

More we consider the words of Viktor Frankl and more we respect and share his call to the understanding of the self, to the education of self-awareness and to the capture of  reason for living. “Listen to what your conscience command” is a demanding imperative that requires the capacity of listening and the awareness of a conscience that is able to follow the good.At the base of all knowledge is the knowledge of the self; only self-awareness transform the experience in a valuable teacher.

The illuminated Sufi Emre Yunus is categoric about: “Knowledge should mean a full grasp of knowledge / Knowledge means to know yourself, heart and soul / If you have failed to understand yourself / Then all of your reading has missed its call.

Jonathan Sacks warn us that progress (and humanity is in progress) must keep the direction toward life and its global meaning:  “Science, technology, the free market and the liberal democratic state have enabled us to reach unprecedented achievements in knowledge, freedom, life expectancy and affluence. They are among the greatest achievements of human civilisation and are to be defended and cherished. But they do not and cannot answer the three questions every reflective individual will ask at some time in his or her life: Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live? These are questions to which the answer is prescriptive not descriptive, substantive not procedural. The result is that the twenty-first century has left us with a maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning.” 

A maximum of choice and a minimum of meaning describe quite appropriately many of the situations we found ourselves involved on and off the bike: the search for meaning never ends; age or acquired knowledge just makes it more necessary.

By Paolo Volpara

"Si sta come d'autunno sugli alberi le foglie"