I’m traveling as I write this.
I’m experiencing the world in a series of moments.
These moments matter.
The heated tile floor in the bathroom.
The fruit tea offered in a crystal cup as I check into the hotel.
The hotel personnel who escort me to the elevator wherever I go and lean in to push the button, ensuring I get where I intend to go.
The thousands of flower planters that turn the Shanghai freeways into living splashes of color. (What must they look like from the air?)
The compact espresso machine in my room that produces the perfect crema on a jet-lagged traveler’s first morning.
The attendant in the train who arrives with Häagen-Dazs ice-cream for purchase moments after we sit down, damp and hot from a frantic run to catch the high-speed to Nanjing.
The colleague from the office who arrives at the station with bottled water as she greets us.
Moments of delight are created by being one step ahead of the person experiencing their life.
It was as if these people had time-traveled. Ahead of my experience, they’d been there. In my head. Able to think what I’d eventually think, feel what I’d come to feel, need what I’d soon need.
A person experiencing _____________ would be wanting/needing _________________. How might we make that happen?
- A person experiencing their first day of work would want/need a sense of belonging.
- A person who just found out the test results don’t look promising would want/need a sense of certainty and a plan. Attention and empathy from the people they meet.
- A person who just had their first child might need some additional support.
I was struck by these beautiful moments of delight.
Even before I knew what I needed, they had realized it.
Now, I will strive to be a time traveler too.
To begin the challenge to be one-step-ahead.
To bring delight and surprise that magnifies a second, a minute of time.
That leaves the magnificent halo of delight in the air.
That reminds us of the magic of caring enough to think forward.
To time travel in the interest of others.