How often do you get a chance to stop for a moment?
I got it just last week.
I wanted to ask you to promise you would not laugh – but – if you’re the kind of person that laughs at disasters of others, my appeal would not influence you anyway, would it?
It was on a Thursday morning as I was entering our super-modern Riverview office building. To give you a bit of context – in the mornings, I always have this “what an amazing day” image in my head. Walking in, I strive for giving the impression of confidence and decisiveness. In my head, it looks somehow as the Crazy 88 entering the House of Blue Leaves in Kill Bill
On that morning I didn’t play any song – I had Tim Ferriss’ podcast interview with BJ Novak on creative process, which alone would be enough to occupy most of my brain capacity. In addition to that, I was trying to compose on my phone a witty reply to a friend’s message that brightened up my morning – and wanted to put together something that would brighten up hers in return.
As you can imagine – I was completely oblivious to everything else around me. And in that state of mind, I walked through the door to our office building. Just a few meters later, passing our cafeteria, a thought flashed through my head:
NOUGAT DONUTS! LET’S HAVE SOME!
I made a sharp 90 degree turn shooting for the morning dose of sugar & chocolate.
Now, if you can conjure up the image – a tall guy in a long black coat, black shoes, white headphones, phone in his hand, apparently trying to look cool (yeah, I know, funny); taking a big confident stride forward…
…hitting a glass wall so hard that it’s heard all the way up to the 5th floor, and bouncing back, trying hard to keep balance. Because, man, I missed the door by a good half meter.
My respect to the two receptionists watching the whole show from close distance for their decency, because if I were in their place, I would be roaring with laughter.
The staff of the cafeteria were amazing, as they immediately took care of me (somehow I lost the sense of where I am for a moment), seated me & made sure that blood stoped dropping on the floor. And after making a quick fix, they gave me all the donuts I asked for – gratis.
As I usually try to find a silver lining in everything – after I recovered my ability to think, I tried to look back and find what I could take away from the situation.
I came up with the following:
1. Don’t take yourself too seriously, as if you do, you just might happen to look ridiculous. I know I’ll probably fail in that anyway – but hey, at least I’m more aware now.
2. Hitting a glass wall is a nice opportunity to stop for a moment and appreciate small things. The chance I have to turn every commute to work into a learning session with a podcast of my choice; the friend who took a minute of her day just to write a few nice lines to me with no other reason than to make me smile; the nougat donuts that are just super-delicious – and I got three of them for free. Small things that make me realize life is wonderful.
3. I found out that some of my colleagues have a cruel sense of humor. When returning to the office after getting a few stitches at the surgeon’s, right on time for a team meeting, my colleague Anna, experienced project manager, read out the report of the situation she diligently prepared. Totaling at around 150 words, it highlighted my “compelling need to make out with the glass” and that it lead me to “jumping at it full of passion”. It’s nice to know that each little personal tragedy has a potential to spur a spark of creativity.
The chance to stop for a moment was worth a little pain.
If you’d like to try too, you can start small. Perhaps it’s enough just to imagine: If you now hit a glass wall with your head at full walking speed – what would that make you think of?