Sunday, December 11, 2011

More Time To Spend Together

It's never too late to evolve your life philosophy.

My twin brother, Paul and I were heading into FableVision, our trans-media studios in Boston. We zipped along the back roads of our hometown of Dedham and sailed onto the highway entrance ramp. Paul swiftly stepped on the brakes as he saw the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Route 95. He eased the car into the slow moving mass. We began crawling at a few miles per hour. 

"Well, looks like we're stuck," I groaned, calculating how much of our day would be spent on the road. 

Paul looked at me with a smile and simply said,  

"More time to spend together." 

I couldn't help but smile too. Five words had melted my frustration -- instantly! 

The truth of his words sunk in during our pleasant two hour trip into Boston and have stayed with me ever since. 

If I find myself waiting in long lines at the airport with colleagues, family or friends and hear anyone sigh or complain I reach for the five words.  

"More time to spend together." 

Works every time. Smiles. Blood pressure lowered.

This is a great example of creative thinking, or what I like to call STELLAR THINKING. It's the kind of thinking that allows us to see new possibilities and discover answers to challenges right under our noses. It allows us to see the world in a more generous way. 

For example, a noisy classroom might seem as problematic as a traffic jam. I've been in a few classrooms where exasperated teachers were using lots of their precious energy to control the room. 

What I could see and hear was what I call "BEAUTIFUL NOISE."  

A room full of kids engaged and excited. 

Lots of thinking and exchanging of ideas. 

Laughter and smiles too. 

Joyful noise is much more satisfying than the sound of a "controlled classroom" with the clock ticking away. 

Stellar Thinking thrives on the ability to see patterns among chaos, to keep your sense of humor near at all times, to be ready to try the absolute opposite strategy to a solve a dilemma, to embrace mistakes as opportunities for creative problem solving, and to see the 30,000 foot view on a situation. Some situations might require the 60,000 foot view, but it really helps. 

I'm pretty certain this kind of approach to life will allow me to live longer -which will allow me to say:

"More time to spend together."