JBG – Week 1 – Do Talk to Strangers

I got on the 2 train on Sunday and headed to Emily’s for the kickoff meeting.  I started to feel a familiar rush of anxious energy that comes when I get an idea in my head to take on something risky but am not sure if I can muster the courage to go through with it.  I was standing by the door next to a woman who did not appear that she wanted to be spoken to.  And I went for it.  I asked her if I could share my project with her.

She didn’t really respond so I just continued.  I told her that I am doing a 60 day project where each day I make sure to do one thing that contributes to me being happier and healthier.  I told her that today is day 1, and I am going to call my parents and tell them that I love them.  I told her that part of the challenge is to share it with one person that I don’t know, and today she is that person.  I  shared that the purpose of telling someone I don’t know is to hold me accountable, keep me excited, and to connect.  I got all of that out without her saying a word and I held my breath as I didn’t know what was coming.

She said something but I didn’t catch it.  She said it again and I made it out – “call them”.   She told me, “it’s crazy that you are saying this to me right now.  My mom died a year ago and I miss her so much.  Call your parents and tell them that you love them.”  She continued that her father died within 30 days of her mother, but she didn’t have a relationship with him.  Though it’s been a year, she told me that she has felt so empty without her mother and is just doing the best she can.  I asked her her name and where she’s from.  She responded, “Deidra from Queens”.  She started to soften and smile.  She asked me if I created this project.  I said, “I did and am looking for ways to get out of my comfort zone and try new things”.  I asked her if she would be up for taking this on herself.  She said it was cool and that she just might.

My stop came and we said goodbye and I said, “let’s keep it going”.

And so before our kickoff meeting I got to experience what it feels like when you just go for it.       It’s freakin exhilarating.

I am feeling really good about this cycle and the energy that we are creating.  My goals feel good and stretchy and I am excited about the growth.  By design, I made my growth goal about consistency, about doing and sharing something each day.  My biggest fear is that I won’t be consistent, and I will have to face the disappointment of throwing “being my word” in the toilet.  Some days when I am feeling inspired, sure, I will get it done, but what about when I’m tired and grungy?

But so far so good.  As I shared on the chat yesterday, I reached out to an awesome woman at work and we have a meeting set up for next week to discuss growth possibilities at work.  And last night, on the subway way home, I was once again standing by the door.  I bent down so that I was on an even level with this elderly woman, and I asked her if I could share an idea with her.  She adorably responded, “sure”, and we had this beautiful two stop connection.

Today’s growth was about doctor appointments that I have been putting off for many months.  I got on Zocdoc and found a dermatologist across the street from where I work!  The appointment is next week.  I also scheduled my follow-up with an ENT and reached out to a therapist.

While walking home from the grocery store, I asked a woman who was texting on the sidewalk, if I could share an idea with her.  She looked nervous but she heard me out.  She’s from the Heights but was walking around the Upper West Side after work, enjoying the weather.  She’s not ready to take on the 60 day growth challenge herself, because she has other things going on right now, but maybe in the future.

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3 thoughts on “JBG – Week 1 – Do Talk to Strangers

  1. Wow, I LOVE this project of yours, especially now that you’re actually going for it. What an amazing ripple effect you are causing with these folks, and you are the perfect person to do it! Thank you for risking, I’m so looking forward to get to hear about your experiences throughout the cycle. This was very touching, and I love how you were not affected by their cautious responses and stayed committed to what you wanted to create.

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  2. Josh I really love that you are taking risks. I know that you will learn a lot and make a bunch of new connections in the process. I sometimes approach strangers and strike conversations and I have never regretted it.. This includes ones who were not open to speaking with me. What do you have to lose? I sometimes recite my contract prior to enrolling people on the street. It grounds me.

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