Do you remember your first roller coaster ride?
What about the first time you saw the ocean? First dream job? First kiss? First time you knew THAT person was THE person?
Last Wednesday I was in Los Angeles. After speaking in the morning I went to a local coffee shop to prepare for the afternoon session. Waiting for a table to open up I saw a gentleman I thought was part of our conference.
Asked him if he was, but he replied, no. He was actually meeting someone for the first time. A friend had set him up on a blind date and they agreed to meet for lunch. He was clearly anxious about it. I told him to be himself and to have a blast. No matter what he’d have a great time…and so would she.
My name was called for a table, so I wished him well and went on my way.
Not long after, he was seated near me. While getting a little work done and in between bites, I got to watch their date unfold…and I was fortunate to relearn some valuable lessons about life.
First, he smiled when she walked into the room. He stood as she approached and walked to meet her. He pulled out her chair, sat her down and pushed it back in.
I tried to go get refocused on my work, but every time I looked over there was a smile on his face and he never looked away from his date. Trays could have been crashing down around him, LeBron James could have been seated nearby him, a fire could have started in the kitchen behind him, and none of it would have mattered…the man was engaged, he was paying attention, he was focused.
Who cares, John?
Glad you asked!
My friends, this man is how we all were on our first date. A little apprehensive, kind of excited, perhaps a bit hopeful. This is how we used to be in our relationships. And then we have our second date…then our third…then our seventh year together.
And it’s not just in dating relationships that endure this negative change. This is how we used to be at work. Then we realize the company isn’t what we thought…the boss not who we expected…the work not as meaningful as we had hoped.
This is how we used to be the first time we held our children. But then the fifth sleepless night happened…another dirty diaper…words like ‘it’s your turn’ crept into our vocabulary…and haven’t left our vocabulary.
This is how we used to be when we first walked into the gym, into the church, into life: Fully engaged and completely present. It was all new, all exciting.
But the words, “I do” eventually become “I have to…”
The young man on his first date reminded me of the way I should seek to live every day, interact with every person, and celebrate the great joy of my work. He reminded me that my wife remains the love of my life, that my children our absolute miracles, and that life, all of it, is a remarkable, wondrous gift.
Today, live again like it’s your first time.
Choose to see again the worth of your work, the joy in your family and the beauty in your life. Life is a gift.
Today I challenge you to decide not to get so used to it that you begin to take the best of it for granted.
This is your day. Live inspired.