Recently while visiting Belgium I booked a hotel about a mile and a half from the central train station. Since it was a beautiful evening when I arrived around 9:00pm, I decided to walk to the hotel. I got a little lost and instead of taking 30 minutes it took about 90 minutes to get to the hotel. Once I arrived at my hotel I looked at a map and figured out my error and planned future trips. While I was lost though, I discovered some wonderful little areas that I would never have found intentionally and I visited them the next day.
Since humans tend to be creatures of habit, each time I walked someplace over the next few days I took the same route to get to and from my hotel. Being a professional speaker, I often take photos I may be able to use in a presentation, to get a different viewpoint, I decided on my next trip to walk on the opposite side of the main road I had been traveling to and from the hotel. I also know that changing routines can improve creativity and change perspective, as a result I saw new and beautiful things. The picture that accompanies this blog post is a building that I had walked next to several times and had no idea how cool it was and what it could show me! Interestingly, the picture that came up when I Googled the building was nearly identical to the one I took.
Like I often do, I spent one day taking the hop on – hop off bus learning about the area. I of course, enjoyed wonderful Belgian Chocolate along with all the incredible sites.
As I was sitting in the airport lounge reflecting on my trip I had several thoughts, besides how amazing a waffle covered with Nutella, strawberries, bananas, whip cream, marshmallow cookies and drizzled chocolate yumminess was.
Random thoughts in no particular order:
- Getting lost is not always a bad thing, you may find something wonderful and unexpected. – Have you ever made an unexpected discovery?
- When you make a mistake, review what happened and make a plan for the future. – Do you have the habit of learning from your mistakes?
- Competition drives down prices, chocolate prices were much better than most places due to the sheer volume of businesses selling it. Some businesses specialized on high-end “Chocolate Art” to set themselves apart. – Do you REALLY have a Unique Selling Proposition or does your USP sound like everyone else’s USP?
- Unique items draw attention, who would have thought a small statue of a little boy peeing would attract thousands of visitors a day and inspire hundreds of them to dress in the same costume he is wearing? – What can you do to set yourself apart?
- Getting information from someone more knowledgeable about a topic shortens the learning curve and increases enjoyment. – Who can you learn from?
- Looking at things in a different way can completely change our perspective. This is true with items and even more true with people. One of my favorite quotes is by Wayne Dyer, it says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – What or who can you look at differently?
Those are a few of the thoughts I had, I would love to hear your thoughts, comment below.