"The smallest change in perspective can transform a life. What tiny attitude might turn your world around?" - Oprah Winfrey
I have made three encounters during the Covid time which I would like to share with you that may expand your perspective and view of life :)
1. Eating at a fancy restaurant aka instagram spot in London
This (pink) restaurant has always been on my list - either because I love pink or because their PR team is doing a fantastic job marketing it as one of most instagrammable spots in London. And the location didn`t disappoint, it looked just like on the pictures (maybe a bit smaller than expected) and the aftertoon tea was very yummy. They also even had violinists and a ballet dancer, great service, and beautiful decoration. So all in all, an experience you would probably not forget and can enjoy. What I have realized, however, being mindfully just in the moment and absorbing what is going on rather than being on my mobile, is that the other guests around me seemed to be not really happy. Yes, I know that we cannot always be happy-funny-positive all the time, but going to this fancy restaurant, which you had to book in advance, would, as far I have assumed, bring a bit joy to people`s faces. And I am not talking about smiles - because they were there, of course - but deep joy that radiates, light that shines from your eyes, energy that attracts.
Maybe it was the Corona fatigue or the cold winter season, but I also do believe that the other factor was just that eating out is not always a fulfilling thing. Yes, we love food (and there are passionate foodies definitely), but for some, finding happiness primarily in food and restaurants may not be a long-term guarantee of fulfilment (except for foodies). So what I am trying to say is - look at the people around and also observe yourself. When you are doing an activity (which still makes you happy), are you also truly fulfilled? It is, of course, definitely good to do things that make us happy (than worse), but imagine a life when we really do most things that truly fulfil us. As far as I am concerned, I have concluded that afternoon tea at a place where everything is pink was definitely enjoyable, but for real fulfilment, I need and want to live a life in service, rather than pleasure only. (And I love the restaurants in London!)
2. The waiter, who cannot afford to take days off over Christmas
In that restaurant, the waiter and I started a conversation, and I soon found out he was from Italy. Knowing that Italians are often family people, I asked whether he would go visit his relatives with his family for Christmas. To my surprise (or ignorance), he declined because the lockdown here in the UK had just been over so business is running again, meaning he will have to work to make a living. When I heard this, I was stunned and embarrassed, realizing that I was somehow spoiled by my work-from-home situation, where my job basically didn`t change and just moved to a virtual setting. It made me realize that not only it is a true gift to see our family, but also we all try to do our best - and those, who do sometimes complain about their jobs, can also find something good in it.
3. The Uber driver, who lost more than a half of his clients
It was dark on my way home, so I decided to take the Uber to the train station. I slightly judged myself as I could have saved the money, but I am sensitive on dark streets, so I preferred to better feel safe than worried during my home back. Luckily, I ended up with a very kind gentleman. I usually listen to music and watch outside the window to admire London, but the driver broke into my thoughts when he offered me candies (which I think no Uber driver has done before!). So I entered into a conversation with him (I actually secretly made the intention with my coach to connect with all kinds of people in various situations) and he later told me that he was from Lithuania and haven`t seen his family for more than a year now. Interested about his side of the story since the Corona outbreak, I asked whether the impact on him was big as I assumed there might be more people using Uber instead of public transport. I learned that a big junk of his Uber rides collapsed - there were no commuters working in the offices and there were no tourists. Not to mention that generally people may stay at home or in their local areas more, and I also thought about the risks they may take up by transporting clients around. Although I knew it with my head, but hearing all the real people`s stories gave me so fruitful perspectives, colors, and just richness of life, that I was amazed, embarrassed, grateful, connected, all at once. I then told myself after I was angry at myself for spending money on Uber, I at least supported the kind Lithuanian man and his family.
We need to connect more and listen to other people`s stories. It will shift the focus from ourselves. It will expand our horizon. It will bring a new understanding about our own life. When we are wondering about our questions and seeking for answers, often we can just look within or connect with people.
What stories from other people have surprised and inspired you? Let me know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – I would be very keen to hear your views! :) PS: Subscribe to my Newsletter to stay in touch for any upcoming posts and news :)
This week`s ...
Inspiration: Marie Forleo - Make Every Man Want You
Reflection: How can I shift my mind`s constant focus on myself away from myself?
Intention: Connect with one new person (or deepen with an existing connection) every day for a week.