“Making an effort to be mindful and present is not always enough. Action over effort triumphs each time.”
Last weekend David and I headed to New York City for a quick getaway. While we were there, we would see family and go to the Big East Championship game—which has now become a bit of a tradition.
When we checked into our hotel the man at the front desk was friendly. He asked if the room David had chosen for the pre-check-in was the one we wanted.
“I have a room on the top floor available. Would you like that instead? It has a great view.”
We both agreed. There was something about the way he described the view that made us curious, and he made it sound like an upgrade. Who doesn’t like an upgrade?
We rode the elevator to the top floor, walked into our room and went straight to the window. We had to see the view.
For several seconds, neither of us said anything. Sure, it was a nice view—the city always looks pretty, especially from thirty-one floors up—but it wasn’t anything special.
We both had a laugh and I took a minute to take a picture anyway. The sun was shining just so on the neighboring skyscrapers and it really was serene.
Shortly after that we took off to Madison Square Garden for the game. Afterwards, we strolled a bit in the city, stopped into a bar for a nightcap and then headed back to our room.
I walked over to the window.
“Let’s see what this view looks like at night,” I joked.
Standing at the window, something made me decide to pull the curtains all the way open. I gasped because that’s when I saw this:
The. Empire. State. Building.
Right in front of us, all lit up, looking glorious, looking like it was shining its light on us.
David rushed over. We laughed.
We felt like jerks.
The man who checked us in was right. We had an incredible view.
And somehow, we almost missed it.
Immediately, I knew there was a lesson here. It made me wonder—how many times do we miss out on magnificent moments simply because we aren’t looking?
I had stood in that same spot hours earlier looking out the same window, taking pictures out that window, and yet, I never thought to open the curtains all the way, to look a little over to the left, to see a new perspective, a new view—to see the view.
It’s not like we missed something minor. We missed an entire building, and not just any building, one of the most famous buildings in the world, so close, thisclose. How?
I was grateful we had finally caught on and could enjoy the picturesque scene, but I was mad I had missed it earlier (and could have easily missed it then).
I am someone who notices everything. It’s what I do. Everywhere I am, I look for the beauty, the positive, the inspiration, the random act of kindness, the love. It’s part of my day-to-day business. Looking, searching and seeking come as naturally to me as breathing.
And still, I had almost missed this. Even with someone telling us there was something to see, we still had almost missed it.
It was a reminder to be more mindful. It was a reminder to stop and really look around. It was a reminder to take in the beauty that surrounds us all the time.
But it was more than that. It was a reminder to be more present—fully present in our lives.
Take it all in on your own. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to and don’t limit yourself to a narrow perspective. Pull the curtains back, widen your scope and see what’s right in front of you.
I’m guessing you’ll be amazed at what a great view you have.