A strange event occurred in the afternoon train ride in Londons underground; and it moved me to such an extent, that it’s difficult to even articulate.
Here’s what happened; A man walked into my packed train carriage during rush hour, sat down on his seat, and as he did so, opened up a large family size bag of chocolates.
He then proceeded to lean over to each person in the carriage and asked each passenger if they wanted to partake from his bag of chocolates.
You could have heard a pin drop.
This moment of human connection on a train carriage in London is pretty rare these days.
Initially, the train passengers were taken aback by the gesture, suspicion clouded their faces, but I watched as a few sneaky smiles surfaced, and some even lent over cheekily and took a sample from his bag of chocolates.
The passengers began to laugh at the strange gesture appearing before them. As if a creature from outer space had just entered the train and offered them magic dust.
It is truly incredible that this is such a strange occurrence, nevertheless, it shook everyone out of their habitual domain. Those sitting in their seats with a sour face were transformed into a much more appealing and magnetic version of themselves (me included).
There were conversations exchanged, smiles, laughter, and embarrassed giggles emerging and some even began conversing with each other to discuss the oddity of the moment.
The guy who offered the chocolates was totally unattached to the outcome, it just didn’t matter. When a person said ‘No thanks’ to his offer, it didn’t seem to knock his self-esteem. He just sat back in his seat and watched the results of his action unfold before him.
I found this incredibly simple, yet beautiful.
He completely and utterly changed the atmosphere of the train journey for everyone. To such an extent that it was one of the most enjoyable journeys I have spent, during what is normally the dreaded rush hour.
What is even more fascinating, is that people pay good money for therapists, psychologists and coaches who will help them to connect with people, make a difference, build better relationships, feel more love and sense of belonging.
I know this because it is one of the main reasons clients reach out for my coaching.
There is a misunderstanding that if only your self-esteem was more elevated, your confidence more refined, if only you believed in yourself more, then you could embark on making a difference.
And yet this guy did it by nonchalantly opening a family size bag of chocolate Maltesers and proceeding to share it. Hey presto, the human connection was made; Transforming those twenty minutes for everyone.
Steve Maraboli stated in his book ‘Unapolagetically You: Reflections of Life and The Human Experience’:
Stop waiting for the perfect day or the perfect moment. Take this day, this moment and lead it to perfection.
And it truly became a perfect moment. It was one persons version of making a concious choice to make a difference during the train ride.
You can do the same.
Make a concious choice to take action on something that you are dilly-dallying around.
You can just commit to a small intention each day. It doesn’t need to have the grandiosity of a massive life purpose (or even sharing a bag of chocolates). Just a simple question you need to pose daily.
What is my intention today? And then go out and just do it.
Nike (the Sportswear brand) advises ‘Just do it,’ and we buy the trainers and all the equipment to show that we buy into this philosophy.
But do we really? Or do we proudly display the motifs on trendy shirts, matching tracksuit bottoms and trainers, but god forbid should we take it into the domain of our lives?
In what way would you like to make a difference, but are waiting for that perfect moment?
What if there was no need to wait, but you could just get started today. Think of the one thing you can set an intention for, and commit to doing it, even if it’s the smallest thing.
What would be fun to create?
Lead from this question, and watch life unfold.
The great aspect of this is that you remove expectation, the waiting around for life to deliver what you want. Instead, you are an active participant in life, you are creating, carving and crafting each moment, exactly how you would like it.
I had a coaching client a few years ago, a single woman who was weighed constantly by expectation towards others. This kept her feeling constantly dissatisfied. She spent life waiting for others to make her happy, secure, connected and give her what she needed.
She seemed to be waiting for the perfect moment (or person) who would change her life.
I realised that she needed a major life shift, so I suggested she volunteer at a homeless facility for a few hours over the holiday break.
A few weeks later, she came back a changed woman. She had no idea that she had so much to give. In a homeless facility, she couldn’t expect to draw from those who were there, so she dug into her own resources, and to her surprise, she found within, an incredible amount of love, connection, understanding, compassion and fun.
In her desire to look to others to fill her up, she had not realised she had so much inside of her that was overflowing. This insight changed the trajectory of our work together, as she stopped waiting, and began to take more focused action.
I can totally relate to this.
I was always too busy collecting an assortment of life goals I planned to embark on; like one collects stamps for their prized stamp collection. Meanwhile, the years were passing by, the moments were ending, the seasons were changing, but I wasn’t.
I remember a few years ago, when my life coach sent me a voice message all the way from California. His voice tired and croaky from waking up early morning, but with a steely determination to get through to me.
His voice uttered the following;
“Michele, what the hell are you waiting for, you’re ready to write a book, you’re good enough already. No one is interested in perfection, they‘re interested in connection. Just do it.”
The time difference and thousands of miles between us couldn’t change the significance of his words.
It changed everything for me.
I had a huge desire to inspire others; but I didn’t have to wait for self-doubt to go away (it never did), or for my confidence to be optimised. I just had to commit to a course of action that felt aligned to what I wanted to create.
Let go of trying to find the perfect moment, instead, commit to a course of action; imperfectly, but still reaching out. Not only will you connect more with humanity, but you will grow beyond your wildest dreams.
What’s your take away from this article, and what could you do differently today?