Before we went to NYC people told me that New Yorkers are not nice. I decided not to judge (like we so often do) and instead experience with my own eyes.
I often meet people that expect others to be nice to them or treat them in a certain way. Instead of expectations I believe in being proactive and starting by giving other people the best version of yourself, which includes smiling, complimenting and asking questions.
NYC was great, I fell in love with the Concrete Jungle, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and just walking around exploring.
And the New Yorkers?
I met with Grace, the hotel receptionist that had no choice of smiling and being nice (being proactive again). I spoke with my uberdriver Abdellah, who was so excited of his upcoming two-month trip to his country Marocco to visit family and friends.
I met with Qionche, a young guy from Tennessee who moved to Harlem to do Urban Studies with the goal of making an impact in Harlem. He didn’t know how yet, but that is ok. His will to do something will shine true.
I spoke to Rad, a young New Yorker who said he could never live anywhere else. We spoke about the $1 pizza slice (which was actually really good), the pace of the city and that Manhattan never sleeps. It might be true as I have barely slept.
The last person I met was Maria in the customer service counter at United. We had checked in and haven’t received any seats.
Let me share our conversation.
With a smile I walked over and said: ”Who is the nicest one?”
And directly went over to Maria, she seemed liked the nicest one.
”It depends what you want?”, she answered.
”We didn’t get any seats?”, I said followed by: ”Why is everybody so nice in New York?”
She laughed and said: ”It is so funny that you say that because the guy before you just said that you New Yorkers are not nice at all.”
We were both laughing and like magic I am now boarding my plane to LA with upgraded seats.
A friend of mine told me: ”If you meet three assholes in a day, you should look yourself in the mirror, because you might be one too.”
I believe that you in some weird and fantastic way, will get what you give. But you have to start by giving.
I know you are working hard.
I know you are serious about your life.
I know you are looking for growth.
But what do you do to feel good in your life and make other people feel good?
For me this is quite simple. And it should be. Why complicate things.
Every day no matter what I try to do two simple things.
1) Drink coffee
Drinking coffee makes me relaxed and gives me time to talk to the people I love. It also gives me a chance to think about life.
Smiling makes other people smile.
Plain and simple.
I have goals.
I have dreams.
I want things.
I want to create things.
I want to accomplish things.
I want to win.
A lot of "I's" and not so much "We's" or "You's".
Are you the same?
I am not saying it's bad to think about yourself and wanting to grow. But I am saying that it feels better to give than to receive.
Reflections from a week in the rain.
Not all vacations are defined by the hours we spend in the sun.
Although I love the sun, traveling for me is to explore and learn new things. It is to settle my thoughts and rest my mind. To reconnect with myself and my relationships. And to meet new people with different views on life.
Let me tell you about someone I met during my week in the Yucatan, Mexico.
I waived my hand and he stopped. We jumped in to his taxi and started to talk.
"Como estas?", I said.
"Excellente", he answered.
His name was Silverio. A man in his 50s who just started driving taxi a couple of months ago. I didn't think much more of that but took his number and asked if he could pick us up later. I do that when I meet people on vacation that I like. Partly because his prices where better and partly because I like being loyal to people and creating relationships. It makes me feel at home, even in a new place.
During the week we always took our rides with Silverio and we spoked more and more. His answer to: "Como estas?", was always: EXCELLENTE.
I learned that prior to driving taxi he had been a bar manager for 28 years, managing 50 people. He had a wife and two kids. His son was 26 and worked as a graphic designer and his daughter was 21 and studied graphic design. Silverio told us that his daughter had suffered from Leukemia and was now healthy again and just needed to go to check ups.
That was it, no wonder he felt: EXCELLENTE.
Silverio was so happy and grateful that his daughter was healthy. And so was I. Who cares that it rained all week or that life doesn't give you all that you want. We might say it way to much, but I'll say it again just to remind myself: EVERYDAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GREAT DAY.
Thank you Silverio.