I’m a big fan of finding life lessons – teachable moments, if you will – in ordinary settings. A simple flower teaches us so much about nature – how rain and sun must both be present in order for growth to take place. Watching a dog laze about in a sun-puddle reminds us that there is no artifice with animals, that they embody unconditional love and are easily pleased with a spot of sun and a stick to chew on.
Recently, my good friend Carmi Levy, a Canadian tech journalist and amateur photographer, shared a snapshot of one segment of his keyboard to his social media feeds. “My keyboard has apparently been quietly trying to send me a message,” he wrote, and followed up with this list:
- Be prepared to shift your perspective.
- Control yourself.
- Keep your options open
- Command the situation.
He’s a Mac-user, while I prefer Windows machines, but I immediately responded to his post, sharing that I loved it when our everyday objects seem to be talking to us in new ways.
More than that, they seem to “speak up” when we most need to receive their wordless wisdom. How many times has a coffee maker failed when we’re already so antsy that more caffeine would be unwise? How many times has the choice between hot or cold on a faucet reminded us that we can choose how we react to tense situations. Will we choose heat and allow our emotions to rule, or rely on our cool, logical sides and remain calm under pressure?
As I often do, I shared my friend’s post and insights with a few other friends, asking for their take on the concept. All of them took the message from Carmi’s keyboard in the spirit with which it was meant: a lighthearted reminder that the nudges we sometimes need already exist all around them.
Macs and Windows keyboards have different keys, so while I was engaged in these discussions, mainly via text or phone call, I had a lingering question in the back of my head: what message would my keyboard have for me?
I took a look at it this morning, and this is the life lesson I was offered:
- Enter every situation being fully present.
- Shift your energy to match the person you’re talking to
- Control your emotions and react from a place of calmness.
A glance at the other side of my keyboard reminded me of one other thing: Not every situation is about winning. Sometimes the best outcome is a compromise.
What about you? Do you find life lessons in everyday moments? What have you been taught recently?