Summer in Paris
Travel, like our life, reflects where we are literally and figuratively at any given moment. Literally, I was recently in the city of Paris. Figuratively, I continue to be in the state of questioning. Where are you?
Following are six perspectives on Parisian life. The Paris insights may be of interest. How you can apply them in your life can be invaluable.
1. Being a Gym Rat with Roger Federer
We happened to stay at the same hotel as Roger Federer. We were there for a wedding, he was there to compete in the French Open. We happened to work out in the hotel health club at the same time each day. It was a thrill to be a few feet away from the #1 ranked tennis player in the world.
The treadmill is boring under any circumstances. Watching someone like Roger Federer work out certainly helps to pass the time. I was fascinated by his workout ethic and the method in which he worked out. His work out program was obviously very customized to the skills he needs in his profession.
How is your professional work ethic, even if you are at the top of your game?
Does your workout ethic, mentally and physically, leverage your specific talents?
2. A Different Take on the Champs-Elysees
Walking on the Champs-Elysees one night, two clowns approached. The two clowns were a young couple– just married as it turned out. The bride and groom and their unorthodox bridal party were approaching strangers and asking for marital advice. One member of the bridal group had a notebook and took notes. What an interesting alternative to the traditional dance of the clone’s reception.
Their mission reminded me of the value of input. Of course, their challenge will be in choosing which suggestions to follow. The art will be in following the right ones. Isn’t it always?
What strategies or people do you have in place to help you choose, follow, and stay accountable to great advice?
3. Standing in Line to Hand Over Money
Nespresso is a trade marked unique system for making the perfect cup of espresso. It is available in the U.S. but hardly the hot commodity that it apparently is in Paris. The landmark Nespresso store in Paris, on Rue Scribe, was packed every time we walked by. Not filled with idle shoppers, the lines were long at the multiple cashiers. We even saw a super store being built right on the Champs- Elysees.
What’s interesting about this product is not only that people line up to buy the machine, they also lineup to buy the refills that make the customer a customer for life.
Do you have a product service or idea that people would line up to buy, and have you figured out how to make them customers for life?
4. Living in Your Own Bed
My feet would tell you that I walked every street of every arrondisement.
I observed that many of the street people left their “beds” neatly folded on the sidewalk or window ledge during the day. I surmised that they returned at night to “make their bed” and sleep in it.
Don’t we all make “beds” for ourselves and figuratively return to them each day. Where’s your bed?
5. A Four Legged Balthazar
Balthazar is a dog I met, after I had met Oscar, Lilly, Odette, Brandy, Romeo, and Estrid. Unlike the small traditional French dog we picture, Balthazar was an 80-pound dog. Untethered, he followed his owners down the sidewalk, never veering into the busy streets. So I accosted the owners to find out how they trained him. They said they started as a pup, and now he knows no other way to walk down the street.
So I ask you, what have you taught yourself or what has someone taught you that you just keep doing?
6. Three Bands and a Wedding
I attended a Parisian wedding . . . with three bands. The final band was a group of six Africans singing Hebrew songs. They had no idea of what they were saying, but they said it well and with feeling.
What can we learn, even if it not of our nature, culture, or language-and communicate it well and with feeling?
Like the newly married couple surveying tourists on the Champs-Elysees, it is now up to you to choose the advice to follow and follow it.