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Last month mindfulness got me a new Mustang GT...
This is the closest I’ll get to a mindfulness clickbait headline - but it’s too good of a story to pass up. Let me explain…
I’ve spent over 1,000 hours studying life through direct experience. (That’s living with Zen monks and 5 years of contemplative practice for you.)
The most important lesson learned is what I call “the infinite possibility of every interaction”.
This means in each moment – even the seemingly trivial or unimportant ones – there’s an entire ocean of possibility right under your nose. Steve Jobs said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward – you can only connect them looking back”. In each moment you might knock over a domino that leads to a serious of life changing dots – that you only connect later on.
I’ve experienced this many times – from little things like getting a surprise Mustang GT (we’ll get there) to bigger things like falling love or majoring in happiness.
Each of these started with a small encounter – a moment of potential energy – that changed the trajectory of my life.
But if you’re still reading this, you probably want to hear about this damn mustang. So let me tell you.
Last month I flew to Alabama to visit my alma mater. I got to the counter to pick up my rental car. As you can imagine, the rental agent wasn’t overly energized sitting in the parking garage at 10PM on a Wednesday.
At this point I had a sort of ‘mindful moment’: I thought - why not try to fully engage with the person across from me and create a positive interaction? So I remembered to smile and share my energy.
Sidebar – in every interaction you either add or subtract energy. A good rule for life is to try always give more energy than you take!
We got to talking and she asked me if I was here on business. So I teased her a bit and said I could make something up if there was a good reason. She said sometimes for business travel they have a chance to upgrade your rental.
I said – “shit I’d like to hear about that, what can we do?”. She punched some stuff in and said it ends up being about the same price.
Let’s do it…
I walk out back to where I was supposed to pick up my Nissan Ultima and I find a bright red, soft top Mustang GT.
I told her– “you know you might not get this back in one piece! I’m gonna die this weekend…”
I ripped that thing down to my friend’s house and – we’ll put it this way – got my money’s worth over the next few days.
This bright spot of amazing luck led to so much fun and so many good memories. And it all connected back to one little, seemingly trivial interaction.
Talking to the rental agent is nothing special. And that’s the point. Every moment has infinite potential energy and possibility. Every person is a universe of experience each his or her own. And every interaction could be a new lifelong friend, future spouse, or cherished memory.
As Thich Nhat Hanh said – “if you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere.”
The power of mindfulness is increasing your capacity to bring this awareness to each moment. And you’ll find infinite possibility right here – waiting for you in every interaction…