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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." 


Anonymous said...

Beautiful noise! I couldn't stop my tears and my smile seeing your vision of a noisy classroom.

Patricia T. said...

An important post with great thoughts on turning a potential negative into a positive. I found your thoughts as "being more present with the moment as that's all we have." Have had doctors appologize for running behind, and my response is, "not a problem, I enjoy being with myself." And, I do.

Enjoyed your interview with Emma Walton Hamilton last week on the Hub. It was like a friendly conversation, which made it fun. Took away some great suggestions.

elizabethanne said...

Thank you so much, Peter, for the huge smile you've just put on my face.

I so appreciate Paul's view of the traffic jam, and your view of the bouncing classroom. YES!

Great attitude shifts.

-- Beth

emma wallace said...

Love, love this, Peter!

When my little baby follows me around wanting to be picked up, I try not to be annoyed that I'm not able to get done what I'm trying to do and be grateful that I have someone who loves me so much that he wants to be with me more than anything. Amazing what a difference that makes!

Kat said...

I always try to find the silver lining in all situations. It's nice to see I'm not alone. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

missperron said...

THe sign outside my classroom says, "Please ignore the noise and the mess...the children are busy making happy memories!" I love it, but this reminded me I need to look at it more often!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Love this post! And I love people who can always find the positive in a situation. It doesn't always come naturally for me, but I'm working on it.

Timaree said...

I am new to your blog. I came to it via the blog <a href=">Drawn2Life</a> where Jennifer is telling us how Ish was a breakthrough moment for her.

I have travelled via our interstate system a lot. When I am with my husband it is tense even when you aren't stuck in traffic. When I travelled with my dad however, even Los Angeles traffic jams were fine because like your brother, we were together and spent the time in conversation. The time would pass by pleasantly. You have a smart brother!

Eve Cogan (10 years old) said...

Hi Peter

I did a blog post on why this is my favourite post you have written.

Thank you