By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine
“Las Vegas is not where I want to be. I have too many things going on back home and this seminar is drawing the life out of me.” My daughter was sent by the hospital where she worked to Las Vegas on business. She felt it was too busy a time in her life, with the family, work and finishing her Master’s Degree, to be away. While her employer felt this to be necessary she was having a hard time being away so she called her Dad.
I told her I understood all of this. The hundreds of times I have had to be away from home were out of necessity. It wasn’t always the best time to be away nor was it the most convenient time. Each time was different but one thing was always the same. Each time I had to remind myself I was there for a reason but more importantly for a purpose. You always know the reason, as in her case her company needed her to be there. The purpose you may not know right away.
An example of this is a trip I once made to Kansas City. It was getting late one night so I left the hotel lobby and headed to my room. While waiting on the elevator I struck up a conversation with a gentleman. He asked what brought me to Kansas City. I explained why I was there and mentioned my company. He was excited to hear that and said he had just had dinner with my CEO. He introduced himself as Byrd Baggett and went on to say he is our guest speaker on tomorrow’s program. We talked for over a half an hour that night and again the next day. It turned out that we had a lot in common.
That was over 14 years ago and we remain friends today. I have featured Byrd’s writing ideas and books in Southern Writers Magazine and have mentioned him several times in Suite T. I have used his quotes many times and my favorite, which we use freely here at Southern Writers Magazine is, “Don’t quit before the blessing.” The reason I was in Kansas City was my company. As it turned out the purpose was to meet Byrd.
I told my daughter she was there for a reason and a purpose. She knows the reason and now she must find the purpose. I told her, “In order to do that you must be where you are, be in the moment.” Be aware and alert and you may be amazed at what you discover.
“If a cat sits on a hot stove, it will never sit on a hot stove again. It won’t even sit on a cold stove, either. It gets out of the stove-sitting business.” Mark Twain
Not every event is eventful. Not every encounter is productive. But who is to say the next one won’t be. The words of Mark Twain can give insight about these fruitless encounters. Not all stoves are hot nor will all encounters be fruitless. Check out the stove each time. Focus on the present. Be in the moment. You never know what friends you will make, stories you will hear or ideas that may come to you.
Wherever you are, be there. Be in the moment.