Did you ever find yourself looking for something only to eventually find it was right in front of you the whole time, but you couldn’t see it? You might answer, “Yes, that happens every once in a while,” but over the last few weeks I was reminded it happens much more than you think.
Right now I am in Helsinki, Finland presenting. Since I traveled from California for this trip, I booked an extra day on the front end in order to acclimate to the huge time zone change. With the luxury of an extra day, I took the opportunity to visit the city of Tallinn in the country of Estonia. On the boat ride across the Baltic Sea, my colleagues from TFW Helsinki repeated what I had also heard from my recent hosts in Scotland, Germany and California: “We would never have done this if you weren’t here.”
Whether it was visiting castles, historic monuments, a museum or catching a few waves in the surf, all of my hosts admitted to missing the great things right in front of them! It didn’t seem to make sense that the proximity to or ease of something made that something less interesting, but then I had a revelation. I thought and acted this way too!
Until I moved to North Carolina, my family and I spent 16 years about 10 miles from New York City. The only times I took advantage of the great things the “City That Never Sleeps” had to offer was when someone was in town visiting me. Now that I don’t live there, I realize there were things I missed and wish my kids had seen; in particular the Statue of Liberty. I can remember visiting (and climbing) the statue as a child and regret I never brought my children. Why didn’t I do it? It was just too close and easy to do.
After a fantastic day exploring the history, architecture and food of Tallinn (I ate my first moose steak!) we sailed back to Helsinki. The consensus of the group: Everyone was glad they made the trip. While discussing why people skip places and events closest to them, I recognized you may be missing something even more important: the greatness of the people that are closest around you!
Want to make sure you don’t take your city or family for granted? Here are 4 tips to develop a fresh set of eyes to better see the magic around you:
- Be a tourist in your own city. Look for an upcoming event or new restaurant you have been skipping and plan out a fun trip to your local town.
- Don’t wait for visitors to see something cool. Instead imagine your family are visitors and take them to your version of the Statue of Liberty.
- Go see something you wouldn’t normally visit. From sporting events, shows, museums or a beautiful spot of nature, there is a great day nearby waiting for you.
- Have a photo competition with your family. See who can get the coolest photo from local landmarks.
They have a saying in Finland, “You don’t have to fish at the other side of the ocean.” Here’s a classic story for you to prove it:
“Once a poor, little girl lived in a small and simple house on a hill. Each day she would play and across the valley she saw a beautiful house high on the hill. This house had golden windows so beautiful the little girl would dream of how amazing it would be to live in such a house instead of an ordinary house like hers. Although she loved her family, she yearned to live in such a golden house and often spent time wondering how it would feel to live with the people there.
When she got older, she asked her mother if she could take a walk beyond the valley. After pleading with her, her mother finally agreed. The day was beautiful and the little girl immediately set course across the valley to the golden house.
When she got there, she was disappointed. She saw the windows were plain and dirty, reflecting nothing but a poor and simple house. With her heart broken, she turned back for her home. But as she glanced back across the valley she saw an amazing sight: high on the hill was her little house with golden windows! She instantly realized then she had been living in her own golden house the whole time! Everything she dreamed was always right in front of her.”
From reading my work or seeing my videos, maybe you feel familiar with me and my TFW program. Perhaps this familiarity has held you back from taking action. If you can’t get to a live 2-day event with me, I have great news: the final online TFW Level 1 Certification begins Monday Aug 24th. With 8 weeks of material and 4 live webinars with me, you will see what the other 3,500 Warrior Certified TM people are talking about. Course details here:
Like the little girl, perhaps you are suffering from a little “The Grass Is Greener” syndrome. You may imagine something is better or more interesting because it is foreign or far away, but remember great things are often right under your nose. Distance or a plane trip doesn’t make something better. Your grass is only as green or window as gold as you decide to see it.