“Gosh! Am late again. What excuse do I give this time? Flat Tire? Noo, that’s too flat an excuse. Traffic? I have already used it more number of times than I am licensed to. Minor Accident? C’mon, I can do better. I need some convincing excuse”, she was talking to herself loudly while cursing the elevator. Apparently she was late for some meeting and her boss wasn’t going to take it easy. Anxiously nervous she was. Even the presence of four other humans in the elevator didn’t bother her loud thinking.
I bet this type of self-talk isn’t alien to you. Except for the ‘loud talking’ part. You have had these conversations with your own self either while climbing those 50 odd stairs to the classroom or while anxiously balancing your weight in the elevator to the meeting room.
“So what? That’s a common phenomenon”, you are thinking. You should. If you haven’t yet, close your vision sensors (eyes!) and think.
Meanwhile, coming back to our elevator girl. I saw her again at the end of the day. She looked happy and relaxed. I couldn’t resist the temptation to ask one of the most dangerous 3-word questions known to elicit a negative answer in most cases – “Are you creative?”. She blushed so cutely that I couldn’t have not noticed it. But, truth be spoken, I was in no mood to focus on her blush. Instead my concentration was locked on the wrinkles emerging on her forehead while she tried to digest and comprehend my question. You see – once a teacher, always a teacher 😁
And then came the anticipated reply – “No No No!”, giggles. “I am just a entry level HR manager here. Creativity is not my arena. We have a separate division for that in our firm”, she continued with an element of seriousness in her tone. Realising it was my turn to spread some SmileFlu, I instantly armed my face with my trademark smile. “Are you sure? Because what I saw in the morning in this very elevator was a highly creative girl, who came up with half a dozen novel excuses, in just 50 seconds. Most of them brand new for me.”
“You Sir. Are a motivation!”, she almost screamed in excitement. As if this was her moment of enlightenment. In my mind I was like – “Oh Thanks. I know that. I have been inspiring trillions of students all over the earth. Infact, don’t be surprised if scientists find few aliens, on Venus and Saturn, attributing their high motivation to me”. But then I thought of Robert Greene’s teachings. So I stood silent, showcasing a neutral smile.
“Coffee? Tea? “, she continued. Her face beaming with happiness. “I’d love to, but am fasting. Some other time. If you promise to teach me ‘the art of framing creative excuses’, without giving any excuses”, I replied. Secretly praising myself for having applied a lesson from my ongoing Ericssonian Hypnosis training in that last sentence. The elevator hit the ground-floor.
Oops, I forgot I had asked you to close your eyes. You can open them now 😉. And come back to the common phenomenon we were discussing. Why am I sharing this experience of witnessing a nervous girl trying to come up with excuses? Well, these apparently common experiences have something special affiliated with them. Your mental state. Those 50 seconds of climbing stairs, and taking the elevator, are arguably some of the most creative seconds of your day! Your creativity is at its peak while framing the best possible excuse to save the day (or lecture)!
Simple, isn’t it? We face this situation many times and often manage to script a nice excuse. No big deal. That’s because our creativity hormones, if there exist any, rush at full throttle.
“Yeah we know that too, so what?”, you ask. Yet, if at the outset of this post I had asked you the same 3-word question, atleast two out of three readers would have put their heads in denial !
Now you are smiling 😊. Now you are thinking. My job is done!
[I know you must be wondering what happened next with the elevator girl. Well, we exchanged business cards. And then….. my alarm played the villain 😉]
Until the next post,
Be creative & keep spreading SmileFlu!