From My Inbox: Dan From NJ

Random interesting & useful πŸ’© pulled from the myriad of emails which land in my inbox.

From My Inbox: Dan From NJ

This past week, after spending quality time with entrepreneur Joyce Shulman, I was motivated to get a little more active, so I started the week with an enthusiastic early morning walk along the East River. Happily marching along, getting my heart rate up and stepping briskly towards 10,000 steps...until I was asked for directions, by Dan. From that moment, my workout walk turned into a wonder walk.

What's a wonder walk? You 100% decide. According to best-selling author Monica Parker, it's a proactive choice to go for a walk to seek wonder.

So back to Dan.

Dan stopped me to ask for directions as he was walking south along the East River (but needed to be headed north, back to Memorial Sloan Kettering).

After I explained, nope, he needed to do an about face and head in the other direction, I had the nagging sense that he could get turned around (again), so I decided to walk with him for a bit.

Dan marveled at the NYC skyline. Roosevelt Island. A tanker barreling down the East River. Noting Rikers Island, he talked about the bravery of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. He talked about his wife's surgery and asked about what I had been listening to ('when I interrupted you and took you out of your way'). The Butterfly King in case you too were wondering. From there we chatted about podcasts - after I explained what they were ("like a radio show, only on your phone") and he recommended a radio series - The Mysterious Traveler - especially the episode The Most Famous Man In the Word ("it's as if they could see into the future, to where we are today").

Why the hell am I sharing this?

When Dan first asked me for directions, I replied, still in full busy-focused-on-a-time-blocked-schedule-kind-but-still-a-New-Yorker-mode, one ear bud in, the other in hand, pointing in the direction he needed to go.

Then something in my brain clicked.

Let's call it humanity.

And from that moment, my brisk walk transformed into a wonder walk.

The detour with Dan transformed my day - reminding me of the power of listening, curiosity and a simple gesture of kindness.

And why yes, there is good research on why you should talk to strangers (hint: it contributes to your well-being).

My challenge for you this week...find wonder in the simple act of being more human. We're wired to socialize and connect after all, so make making truly human connections, prioritizing someone else, a priority.

Bonus points if you initiate a conversation with a stranger. Double points for asking a stranger for directions.

Now, on to regularly scheduled From My Inbox πŸ’©

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