As the expression goes, “London buses come in threes” – after a long wait, three appear. The same seems to apply to subjects which come to our attention.
Since reading the last post have you noticed yourself picking out your name above the hullabaloo in a crowded venue? Alternatively, have you found a new topic coming up unexpectedly several times in quick succession? I have. I have been in Sydney for 18 months and I had not heard or thought about the British Chamber of Commerce in all that time. Then, it was mentioned completely out of the blue in back-to-back meetings last week. Soon after, I saw a third reference to this institution – it took the prior mentions to make me notice it.
The other example relates to Myanmar, or Burma, as it was called when I visited. This came up in conversation a few days ago when I was asked about a favourite holiday. This was a tough question for me to answer. Travelling is one of my greatest pleasures and I have had many wonderful trips. I settled on Myanmar as I was enthralled not just by its sights and culture but especially by the warmth and dignity of the people who had so little.
Within a few days, I was at an event at which one of the participants regaled us with the tale of her recent and, again, wonderful visit to Myanmar. I was then hopping off the ferry at Circular Quay and, you’ve guessed it, a man walked past in a T-shirt with Myanmar emblazoned across it.
The third time, moments later, it was my mind which made the link. I was walking along a CBD street on the way to a meeting when I looked up and saw the signs in the photograph above. This is not a new route and yet I had never noticed these signs before. What connection did my brain make? I can answer that very easily. The Lacoste sign took me straight back to my time in Myanmar. I clearly recall being told about the thriving barter market in the absence of currency convertibility. We learned that 555 cigarettes and Johnny Walker Red Label were much-desired. This came as no surprise. I was surprised though to be told that fake Lacoste T-shirts were also coveted. This struck me as very brand-specific. I never did find out how a niche brand had gained popularity there.
Having spotted the Lacoste sign, it seemed entirely fitting given my love of travel, adventure and lifelong learning that it would have the North Face slogan next to it -NEVER STOP EXPLORING.
Have you read the previous blog and put together your list of 20 favourites things? If so, your attention is being selectively directed towards these things. Remember, doing more of what you enjoy is a strategy for success.