A young traveler approached a river while on her journey. From all appearances, it was too deep to ford and too long to get around. After doing a bit of scouting around, she discovered a canoe that was left by another traveler. In haste, she grabbed the canoe and paddled to the other side.
As soon as she landed, she thought: “I’m lucky that I found that canoe! I couldn’t have crossed the river without it. I better take it with me just in case there’s another river along the way.” So she picked up the canoe and carried it with her.
After three days of travel while carrying the canoe, she was exhausted. She happened upon an old traveler who was bewildered by the young woman carrying the canoe.
“Why are you carrying a canoe?,” the old traveler asked.
“A few days ago, I came across a river that I would have been unable to cross without this canoe. I didn’t know whether I would come to another crossing, so I carried it with me.”
“Ah. The next river like that in the direction you’re going is fifteen days away. It would take you less time to build a canoe when you get there than to carry this one with you – it’s time to leave the canoe behind.”
With that, the young traveler dropped the canoe. She immediately saw that what got her here wasn’t needed to get her there.
So then the question becomes: How many canoes are you carrying?
Thanks to Charlie for the story.