Tag Archives: Abraham Maslow

Believe In This Thing Called “The Universe”? Strange Things Happen In Chicago; Part 1

It seems that since “The Secret” was published by Rhnoda Byrne, there’s been much to do about “The Universe” being behind the things you can’t explain. Frankly, I was one of those skeptical, rational, “I’m from Missouri”, need to be shown folks. The universe, “please”, I thought. Spare me. What happens when you just can’t explain events in your life that seem absolutely remarkable? Let me tell you a little story about the universe.

A while back, I had this “Aha” and I’ve talked about it here before. A few years ago while I was going through some coaching and consulting for my business, I was asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. I was asked to write my own eulogy. Having never done anything like this before I had to consider what I wanted people to say about me when I died. After several minutes of thinking, I came up with the answer. “I suppose I would want people to say I made a difference”, I replied. What I didn’t know at the time, was that I had just identified my highest order life purpose; the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid if you will. Some call this being “self actualized”. It was quite a strange place. From that day on, strange things started happening to me and they always seemed to happen on the way to Chicago. Let me back up.

One Week Before Chicago
One day I was having lunch in NYC with a client. Having had such a positive result with reflective exercises with my coach, I started incorporating the values conversations with clients. I asked her if she was truly happy with her life and posed the question to her, “If you knew you only had 6 months to live, would you want to do anything different?”. “Nope”, she replied. “Are you sure? You know you could walk out the door and get hit by a bus.”, I said. “No, I’m sure”.

As we finished lunch, we began walking back toward Penn Station. Not ten minutes after we had this conversation, we both witnessed a man get hit by a bus right before our eyes. Shaken, we looked at each other and I asked “What does that mean?” How do you explain that?

Going To Chicago
With the thought of the bus incident still fresh in my head, I prepared to board the United flight to Chicago. I was a guest a the Napoleon Hill World Learning Center Open House. While I was very excited to attend, the trip almost didn’t happen because of prior obligations. I almost decided not to go, but because I felt passionate, (you might say “the universe” was pushing me to go) I figured out a way to make it happen. As I waited to enter the gate, I noticed a flag flying above the jetway where our plane was parked. I noticed it was the only one that had a flag so naturally I was curious and asked the United rep what it was for. “This is the gate where United 93 left from on 9/11”, she replied. Having just witnessed the bus thing the week before, I felt as if somebody was trying to tell me something. As I boarded the flight, I could feel myself walking the same steps the passengers walked that day. “Let’s Roll”, I thought. If one thing became clear to me that week, it was that you never know when your time is up and you had better live every day like you were going to get hit by a bus or board a flight that is about to crash. The universe was telling me to follow my passion, and I was listening.


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