Last weekend, my wife organised a short entertainment break for us in London. Lovely! What’s not to like about that?!
Being a sports and music nut, and with all the delights of our capital city at my disposal, my preferred ports of call would normally be a top football match, a gig, maybe an upbeat West End show, some quality food and drink, a sports bar, maybe a bit of cheeky clubbing… and repeat exercise the following day.
However, my wife is far more of a culture vulture than me, and when she told me what she had arranged for our weekend entertainment, I must admit that my adrenalin levels were a little below par:
We were off to see ‘Lazarus’ – a challenging piece of musical theatre about an alien man trapped on earth unable to die, his head soaked in cheap gin and haunted by a past love (nearly 2 hours, and no interval!); we were also going to the Victoria & Albert Museum and she had also booked us on a tour of Westminster Abbey.
But… what a weekend we had! Lazarus was spine-tingling, with a brilliant lead performance from the actor Michael C. Hall who channelled the spirit of David Bowie (who co-wrote the piece) right in front of our eyes. The V&A was fascinating; we saw exhibitions on the history of underwear and lingerie design, and on late 1960s revolutionary music, fashion and design – these have all become my specialist subjects now!
And Westminster Abbey was totally humbling; from absorbing the breath-taking ambience, architecture, paintings, sculptures and artefacts, to sensing our royal heritage and pageantry, to discovering facts about some of the most significant people in our nation’s history who are buried or commemorated there – over 3,300 people to be precise, including 17 monarchs. I was particularly moved by the Womens’ Voluntary Service roll of honour in the Abbey and to learning about the various aspects of work these women carried out during the Second World War (over 240 of them dying in the process).
I talk in my seminars, live events, videos and all my coaching materials about the importance of gratitude in our lives – and it struck me how eternally grateful we should all be to these magnificent, intrinsically motivated women who gave their best in order to protect the lives of generations of others.
So, there was no sign of a ball hitting the back of the net, no anthemic singing, stage dives, or Stalkie shimmies this weekend in London, but I feel all the more richer for taking a path that I would normally leave less-trodden in my life.
By unexpectedly expanding my horizons and exposing myself to things that I wouldn’t normally consider doing, I’ve not only had my eyes opened to the pleasure that comes with variety (it’s the spice of life remember) and shared quality time with my wife, but I’ve also reinforced some of my treasured values along the way, such as gratitude, pride, faith and a thirst for knowledge.
We should all take less-trodden paths more often. Take a break from our habits and routines, and to look at life through the eyes of others. Doing so gives us a wider outlook to self-improve and allows us to realise just how lucky we are to have so many opportunities available for us to experience in our lives. Let’s go grab them!
I would love the opportunity to support you in becoming the architect and builder of the most fulfilled and happiest life you could wish for.
That’s why I have devised the Improve Your Life Now! programme which is full of tools such as 14 days of FREE video coaching, a FREE workbook and goals chart, all geared towards creating the life you deserve. All details are on my website www.paulstalker.com
Love the day.
From Paul ‘Stalkie’ Stalker
The Mindset Man.