When I was working in hotel development, travel was inevitable. At first, the travel portion of my job was sexy, five years into it, and getting on an airplane was like doing laundry; mundane, routine, dreaded, and inescapable. Life was something like, seven airports in four days or 13 legs, one trip. My modus operandi had become: dump contents of suitcase at the front door, reload, check in, and then off again to the airport. My parents once joked and called me George Clooney from "Up in the Air". I didn't think that was funny. You know, I thought that was a depressing movie. It doesn't have a happy ending.
I tell you all this to say, I didn't enjoy traveling anymore. I hate making small talk on airplanes or in taxi cabs. When I landed in Denver and got picked up by this Rastafarian taxi cab driver with dreadlocks down his back at the airport and he started to chat with me, I was less than thrilled.
He's chatting on in this way about his day and his daughter and he's got this funny way of accenting different words that makes me wonder if he just hasn't smoked too much green stuff.
And then he asks me a question I will remember for the rest of my life:
"Do you know that pickles are cucumbers?"
“I'm sorry, what?”
"Did you know that pickles are cucumbers?"
“Um. Yeah.” I responded, “My mom and I used to make pickles when I was a kid from her cucumbers in the garden. I love pickles.”
"I was in the grocery store today.” he goes on saying. “And I love pickles. And I was putting my groceries on the belt and the guy was scanning my pickles and then he weighed my cucumbers."
and. bam. it. hit. me.
PICKLES ARE CUCUMBERS.
"I saw the whole thing, right there, in front of my eyes at the grocery store. I saw that pickles are cucumbers, for the first time in my life. I wondered how long I have been eating pickles, and cucumbers, and I didn't know?! I didn't know!!!! How could I not know when it was always there right before my eyes?"
“And this just blew me away today, I've just been totally in awe wondering about all the other things in my life that are right in front of my face that are just that obvious but I never had the eyes to see it before?”
“I think you call that an epiphany, my friend.”
PICKLES ARE CUCUMBERS. This changes everything.
Other simple and perhaps obvious things that are life altering:
- Once in a great while, turn left instead of right when you go out your door. You could find love
- You can learn luck and win more cash prizes, scientifically proven.
- Be nice. You could get laid or otherwise change someone else's day in a positive way.
- Heartbreak doesn't kill you. It feels like it should, but it doesn't actually kill you.
- Pickles are cucumbers.
Sounds obvious, could be life altering.
Richard Wiseman - a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire- set out to investigate lucky people and their good luck. He was curious to understand why it seemed that lucky people got lucky, had more lucky breaks, and seemed to always be in the right place at the right time. Over the course of ten years he studied “lucky” and “unlucky” people who answered a news paper ad and described themselves as lucky or unlucky- he found that lucky people do infact win more cash prizes in life!
In his book “The Luck Factor” Wiseman describes the 10 year experiment:
"I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside. On average, the unlucky people took about two minutes to count the photographs, whereas the lucky people took just seconds.
Why? Because the second page of the newspaper contained the message: "Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than 2in high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.
For fun, I placed a second large message halfway through the newspaper: "Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250." Again, the unlucky people missed the opportunity because they were still too busy looking for photographs."
Dr. Wiseman, via his research findings, proposed that lucky people actually created their own luck because they lived their lives based on four principles: “they are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”
Wiseman found that unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else.
Unlucky people are anxious, lucky people were relaxed. Sound too simple?
“Unlucky people go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and as a result miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for."
Simply stated lucky people are more relaxed, open, and remain curious about the current situation at hand rather than become anxious and single focused and future oriented.
Sounds obvious. Could be life altering.
The good news is that they also discovered that in fact the “unlucky” people could learn the four principles of “lucky” people and improve their luck, their lives and their happiness by 80%!
"One unlucky subject said that after adjusting her attitude -- expecting good fortune, not dwelling on the negative -- her bad luck had vanished.”
Sometimes in life, it is the obvious epiphany that can change everything.
To read more about how walking out your front door and turning left instead of right changed everything, including how just being nice can get you far in life and in bed, and what to do when heartbreak doesn't kill you, go to the original post from Paris: exploredeeply.com/pickles-are-cucumbers