I’ve been listening to this podcast Dane recommended – Mystery Show. Each episode, the host takes it upon herself to solve a mystery. The mystery can be anything from finding out why a car has the license plate: ILUV911, to finding out Jake Gyllenhaal’s height. Each episode is charming and funny and pure entertainment. On her quest to solve these mysteries, the endearing host, Starlee Kline, runs into a whole slew of people on the way, some who might have absolutely nothing to do with her case. In most episodes, it is her encounters with these strangers and the stories of these people that really pull me in. It makes me realize that everything in our lives is about our connection with people. And the reason Starlee seems to be so successful in solving these mysteries, is one, because of her patience to follow up on any type of clue, no matter how small, and two, because of the joy she finds in meeting new people to learn more about not only her case, but literally anything interesting or curious that crosses her path.
So often I feel like I just want to get from Point A to Point B. I don’t mind doing the work, but I also don’t want to waste my time. Efficiency is key.
Starlee’s approach is making me rethink this.
At the end of the day, I want to have accomplished something (literally, at the end of every day). I want to look back and say, I did this, this, and this today. The desire to be successful and the fear of being a failure fuels this need to be doing SOMETHING all the time. If I’ve achieved tangible things – like writing 10 pages, making a rope light sign, reading a book – then I’ve succeeded.
Or have I?
I’ve been a little put-off with the idea of marketing my MagicalMerrySigns. Anytime I tell someone about them, I find myself lowering the price. Why?! That makes no sense. I feel like I’m just no good at being a salesman. But maybe I’m approaching this in the wrong way. I’m not trying to start my own business. This is something fun to do, on the side. If I can sell my signs, that would be FANTASTIC, but I can’t afford to continue spending money on materials, and it’s not something I want to be doing all the time, anyway.
That said, maybe I could just focus on one sign. One of my five signs. It doesn’t matter which one, but to really start to think about, not who I could sell this sign to, but who NEEDS this sign. Who would love this sign so much, they’d think it was a miracle that I’d found them (OK, maybe that’s a little aggressive, but you get the idea). I should be making this about people and not about selling a product. I’m just spitballing here, so I’m not exactly sure how to go about it, but I’m sure that it has to do with getting to know some strangers. Being curious about them. Asking questions. Learning about their lives.
So I have to be like Starlee. For one, I have to be patient. For two, I have to find the joy in “taking the long route.” I put it in quotes because maybe, it’s not the long route. Maybe meeting people and learning more about them and taking my time is the exact route.
Instead of putting my head down and bulldozing my way from Point A to Point B, I should open my eyes and see what’s happening in front of me, as it happens. This goes along with the whole notion of being present, but I want to take it further. If someone or something pulls me off track, I want to say, Sure, let’s go down that road for a little while. See what happens.
I’ll consider it an experiment… this could be fun!