Several years ago, I saw a notice in The Washington Post that Thomas L. Friedman (NY Times columnist and author of The World is Flat) was going to be speaking at the National Press Club.
I was intrigued, so put the date on my calendar and promised myself I’d go.
The day came and it was absolutely jammed-packed with consults. I finally wrapped up at 5:30 pm and had about 15 minutes to get dressed up, jump in my car and head into town.
I didn’t want to go. The thought of battling rush hour traffic and trying to find parking in busy downtown DC was not appealing.
All I really wanted to do was fix an early dinner, kick back in my favorite chair that overlooks the lake and read the newspapers I hadn’t had time to read that morning.
Then, a little voice in my head repeated a quote from Louis L’Amour (you can’t make this stuff up.)
“You can’t learn anything from experiences you’re not having.”
Argghh. A year from now, what would matter?
Would I remember spending a night at home reading the paper – or would I remember going someplace new, meeting someone new and hearing something new?
Well, that’s all it took to get gussied up and head into town.
Three hours later, I was so glad I had.
Friedman was eloquent and insightful. Plus, the program organizer came up to me afterwards and said, “You’re Sam Horn, aren’t you?”
I told her yes and she asked, “Are you a member of the National Press Club?”
“Did you know you don’t have to be a journalist to be a member? If you’ve authored non-fiction books, you can be a member as long as someone sponsors you – and I’ll sponsor you.”
Thanks to Carole F. Sargent, Director of Georgetown University’s Book Lab, -https://digitalcommons.georgetown.edu/blogs/booklab/ – I became a member of the National Press Club that following week.
What’s more, that “chance meeting” set in motion a whole stream of SerenDestiny events that have blessed my life ever since.
I’ve been involved in the annual book fairs – http://www.press.org/ – which have featured everyone from travel writer Bill Bryson to the inimitable “lady in red at the White House” Helen Thomas).
I hold bi-monthly “Algonquin Round Table-like” dinners that connect intriguing entrepreneurs and executives.
Every time I walk down the halls with the photographs of world leaders who have spoken there – JFK, Margaret Thatcher, Martin Luther King, George Clooney (had to throw him in) – this small-town girl gets chicken skin (what Hawaiians call goose bumps.)
All because Louis L’Amour got me off the couch and out the door to a new adventure.
After hundreds of interviews with SerenDestineers, I’m clear this “If you don’t go; you’ll never know” attitude is a precursor to moving our life forward – for good.
Often, we’ll read about something or hear about something and think, “I really should go to that.”
Then all the reasons NOT to go flood our mind. It’s going to be a hassle getting there. We won’t know anyone. It requires energy we don’t have. It’s tempting to just kick back.
However, whatever caught our attention was sufficiently important to make it through our “screen” because our instincts intuited it was relevant and potentially meaningful.
That means that event is our best future calling. And if we get off the couch and go – we are likely to meet simpatico people who will kick-start all kinds of good things for us.
That is, if we get up and go.
What’s an event that’s caught your attention recently? A concert? Conference? Class?
Are you now thinking of all the reasons not to go?
Could you give it a chance?
Could you honor the instincts that are telling you this will be a good investment of your time?
You’ll never know – unless you go.