There's a lot happening in this world that we're not necessarily able to see or comprehend, happening all around us at all times. Some people call it synchronicity. Some people call it luck. Some people call it odd or strange. I call it a conspiracy! …But in a good way.
It reminds me of an iceberg and what we see in our 3-D reality is the part of the iceberg that is above water, roughly 20% of what is truly at work. The things we can’t see or understand is the main portion of the iceberg (about 80%) which is a part of us and happening all around us at all times, yet behind the scenes (think the Matt Damon movie, The Adjustment Bureau).
Yes, as the title boldly proclaimed, I see it all as a giant unseen conspiracy…that actually helps us when we follow our intuition and allow “it” (the unseen) to guide us.
Best way for me to explain this is to share a true story that actually occurred, against all odds, which I call, “The No Rice Moment.” We’ll revisit this discussion afterwards. As you read this try to recall times like this in your past that odd circumstances happened to you…
After choosing to not attend class or do homework as much as I should have, I chose to drop out of college, in 1991, after three semesters and went home to live with my mother and my two younger sisters at 19 years old (my mom was 35 and my sisters were 9 and 7).
After living with my mother and my sisters for a short while, my mother and I were not seeing eye to eye on much of anything until one day we finally came to an agreement. She was kicking me out and I was leaving. That happened in Farmington, New York. At this moment, I had my life savings of $60 in my pocket, a backpack, and a 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel with about 240,000 miles on it and no radio.
So here I sat in the car outside of the apartment in the snow and didn't have anywhere to go. Sure there was my Aunt and Uncle, or my Grandparents, nearby but I didn’t want to feel like a burden, so I didn’t reach out to any of my family.
Then for some reason, something inside of me was saying, “Go to New York City. Go to New York City.”
To which my mind quickly replied, “Um! I don't know anyone in New York City. That's crazy.”
Regardless of it making no sense at all, I still felt called to make the 6 hour drive to New York City.
With $60 in my pocket in that old Volkswagen Rabbit diesel, with all the miles and no radio, I got on the NY Thruway and headed east towards New York City. This was at 9:00 PM in the evening when I got on the road for this 6 hour drive to Manhattan.
With no radio and me embarking on this journey to nowhere, after a little while, I just said, geez, nothing to do. Let me talk to this guy I had heard about. So I looked up with my eyes and said, "Hey God, it's Tom.”
Let me back track. I wasn't raised in a church or in a spiritual family or anything like that, but I figured I had six hours to kill, so I might as well talk to God, to see what's happening.
So I said, "Hey it's Tom. I think you know who I am. I think you know what the situation is. Here's the deal. I don't know why I'm going to New York City. I only have $60. I don't have anywhere to go. But here's the deal. Whatever needs to happen is going to happen. If I'm meant to live in this car, I'll live in this car. If I'm meant to live on the streets, I'll live in the street. If I'm meant to die in New York City, I'll die in New York City. Whatever happens, it's in your hands. I've no clue why I'm heading there. Guess I’ll soon see what happens."
So I drive the whole time from 9:00 at night until 3:00 in the morning, and I didn't really have a clear map out. It wasn't planned out. I just followed the signs on the freeway heading east, went to New York City. And by the time I came to the top of Manhattan and got past Harlem, I figured, “Well I'm not in a hurry. I've got nowhere to go. Here's a Chinese restaurant. I'll just pull over and grab a little bite to eat, even though I’m not even hungry.”
So I pull into this Chinese restaurant and sit down. A waitress comes over, asks, "What you want?" I said, "I'll just have a bowl of rice."
"We have no rice." She replied.
I thought I was in that old show my grandparents used to watch with the hidden camera. You know? I was like, “What? This is a Chinese restaurant. What do you mean? I'll just have a bowl of rice."
"We have no rice. What else you want?"
Well I said, "I guess nothing."
So I got up, went to the bathroom, splashed some water on my face, walked out, got in my car. And as I was pulling out and got to the next light, it was yellow, but I'm in no hurry so I just stopped at this light a block from this Chinese restaurant that had no rice.
I'm waiting at the stoplight and the streets are quite empty. No one is really out walking around at 3am except for one person I see, and this person walks in front of my car.
I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t living one of those scenes I used to see on old movies of people stranded in the desert and think they see an oasis, but are just hallucinating.
Holy cow! I know this person!
This person was my stepfather, my ex-stepfather, who I hadn't seen in two years, and he just walked in front of my car at 3:00 in the morning in New York City, right after this Chinese restaurant not having any rice.
Obviously I was shocked as I rolled the window down and yelled his name. "Hey, Cliff." He didn't stop. Thinking either I truly was imagining this or he didn’t hear me, I yelled his name again, and he turned.
He looked at me and as he walked towards my car and open window said, “What the fuck are you doing here?"
To which I replied, “What the fuck are you doing at 3:00 in the morning walking the streets of New York City?"
He said, “Long story. I live around the corner." And continued, "Where are you going?"
I said, "You're looking at it. I’ve got nowhere to go. Mom kicked me out a few hours ago, and felt called to come to New York City, even though I didn't know anybody, and didn't know why."
Without believing me he said, "Well if you've got no place to stay, you can stay with me.”
So I stayed with him for three months in New York City after that drive to nowhere. The weird part about that was the whole time I was there for three months, not once did he leave after 9:00 PM. He was home 8:00, in bed by 9:00. And I asked him. I said, "Why were you out on the streets at 3:00 in the morning that one night?"
And he said, "You know what? My new wife and I got in an argument, our first argument. I had recently given up smoking, so I didn’t have any in the place, so I was going out to get some cigarettes. I was on a cigarette search and ran into you."
This is one of many clear examples that there's a lot more happening in this experience we call life than we can ever understand.
I submit to you that you and I chatting here on this 13th Annual Marketers Cruise, or in this book, is just as crazy and just as improbable as that particular moment. For all that has occurred in each of our lives for both of us to be here together is just as miraculous as me and my ex-stepfather running into one another at 3am in Manhattan after my 6 hour drive to nowhere, and the Chinese restaurant not having any rice.
Sure, that moment seems very miraculous because of all the events that led up to it. You know? Had I stopped at a gas station a little longer, had I have done this or that, would we have met? Or, would it all have worked out and self corrected, and we would have met anyhow? It's kind of like one of those movies where you see someone is supposed to meet that other person and they're in the same room and they almost talk but they don't, and you're like, oh man, they didn't take action. They wanted to. They didn't take action. They missed that opportunity to meet, and they need to meet. And yet their paths cross again, and then finally they meet.
So all I know is what I experienced. And it freaks me out, but it freaks me out just as you and I are here talking in this manner, in this digital age. This is the Jetsons manner, right? George Jetson talking with his boss on video. You and I are talking like this throughout the world. And for my life to lead right here right now, and your life to lead here right now, is just as miraculous as that no rice moment. It reminds me of a book that I read from Dan Millman, author of "Way of the Peaceful Warrior." It's a book called "No Ordinary Moments." Well guess what? That no rice moment was no ordinary moment, and neither is this. So I'm honored for us to have this meeting right here, right now.
So that is a story that I kept a secret for a long time. It's not what everybody knows or talks about, but I have witnessed it, not just in this particular instance but many instances. And I ask you, have you ever had some synchronicity moments?
The way I see it, is that it’s a conspiracy for us to succeed, if we’re bold enough and ready to follow our intuition and do what we feel is ours to do continually, without fear, worry, or judgement. Just trusting in your discernment, stop, think, and act.
If you think about who's put in our life and all the things that have led to this puzzle piece, getting to here, and just when we think it's all clear, a new puzzle piece is added that puts a whole different dimension on it. So I'm glad that we're here, able to share this moment and story together.
Lessons this No Rice Moment has taught me:
1) Follow my intuition. When I ever feel like I’m at a crossroads, and uncertain of what is to come if I take one decision over another, I reflect back upon that trip to NYC, with nowhere to go, and the amount of uncertainty that choice had, yet I went for it anyway, and it all worked out amazingly.
2) The power of detaching from outcomes. I had a knowing that I would be alright regardless of how the trip unfolded, that I would be resourceful to know what my next step would be at any moment, and in the end by following my intuition (even when it made ZERO sense), things worked out better than I could have ever imagined, 3) It’s not always a happy ending in the moment. Other times I followed my intuition didn’t turn out so amazingly for me in the moment, however in the end I can reflect on those difficult and trying times and see how this quote from Napoleon Hill became true, “Every adversity carries with it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit.”
3) Do what is yours to do. Step up and be the you that you know you are capable of being, without allowing fear to cloud your judgment or choices. When you are in tune with who you are and what you want, you will make choices from a grounded feeling of “this is mine to do, right now.” Get grounded, then choose. Stop. Think. Act.
Make Today Great!