I am a very fortunate man and travel on a regular basis to some very exotic places. I do not take this for granted and practice gratitude on a daily basis! After circling the globe many times, the treasured memories always involve personal interactions with individuals. I love to share these stories with my friends, family, and almost anyone else that will listen. People often react by saying, “Kurt, I am glad for you, but since I do not travel, I cannot meet interesting people.” This response reminds me of the large piles of cow dung in India.
Whether I am in Boise or Thimphu, I employ a very simple method to meet people. When a person crosses my path at least three times, I walk up to them, extend a hand, and say, “Hello, my name is Kurt.” The next step is very important. Ask a question and then shut up, listen, and learn. When the pause comes…..ask another question. These people do not need to look like me, eat like me, be my age, or gender. They just need to cross three times. Think about all the humans that fit this criteria in your personal life. Do you know your mail carrier, your barista, or the gym stranger that is always on the bike next to you?
I do spend lots of time at the local gym and find it to be fertile ground to hear fascinating stories. Not long ago, I met a lady that appeared to be in her late 60’s. She had crossed my path many times so I followed the steps outlined in paragraph II. She told me that she and her friend do live singing performances at local senior centers. She seemed to be very passionate about singing so I inquired if this was a lifelong hobby. With a little shyness she exposed that she had done some professional work as an opening act in Vegas. With a few more questions, I learned that she did USO Tours with Bob Hope. With a little more prying, I found out she was a regular guest on the iconic Laugh-In television program. For an odd reason, I was not at all surprised to learn that she was a fashion model and had lived in New York for five years. I did fall out of my chair when she told me about being in The Amazon for 28 days doing a photo shoot for Playboy.
This woman has a heart of gold and we have developed a very nice friendship. During the Christmas Season, I gave her a copy of my book and she had a jar of homemade salsa for me. With a big smile she said, “You know this is a magic jar. Want to know why? It is because when it is empty, you can bring it back for refills. For life.”
The universe has already decided who you need to meet. That is why she placed them in your path. If you want to expand your horizons, reach out and say hello. You may just end up with some magic in your life.