Elephant or Chicken?

Posted 09.30.2013

elephant-kfcA client who frequently travels internationally told me a fascinating story recently.

My client is a regular visitor to Africa and told me about a safari tour guide he met in Botswana. This guide is so skilled and experienced at what he does that he can approach an 18,000 pound bull elephant with no fear of being charged. The guide and the elephant go eye to eye. The guests get great pics and the guide does it again on the next safari. He is at one with his environment.

A few years ago, the guide was invited to attend a conference in Washington, DC. He stayed at a hotel in DC that was right across a very busy street from a KFC restaurant. There are KFC’s in Botswana and the guide is a huge fan of their chicken. He desperately wanted to go across the DC street for some KFC but could not figure out how to get through six lanes of traffic safely. It was a terrifying and frustrating situation for him.

After a couple of days, a bell man at the hotel taught the guide how to use the crosswalk to get to the other side of the street. The guide had never seen a crosswalk. But, the problem was solved and it was KFC for dinner.

I’m fascinated by my client’s story about the guide. He’s so comfortable in his environment on the plains of Botswana that he regularly does things that most of us can’t imagine. And we’re so comfortable in ours, that we do things that the guide can’t imagine.

It’s all about perspective. Where you stand depends on where you sit.

On this Mindful Monday, why not give some attention to the things you’re so comfortable doing that you don’t even realize you’re doing them? There may be some opportunities there for learning something new. What are you noticing?