Walking past the window in Waterstones this afternoon, a crowd gathering in the street below caught my eye.
Curious as ever to see what was going on I stopped for a second to see what they were all looking at. Half expecting it to be the usual crazy guy on his soap box shouting out his sermon on a Saturday afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to see that in fact it was a little boy, probably only about ten or so showing off his ball skills.
Now although he wasn’t exactly fantastic and unlikely to be wining any awards this kid made me realise some lessons in life that we would all do well to remember:
1. Always take the opportunity to share your skills and talents with the world: This kid knew what he was good at and didn’t waste time going public with it. He saw a window of opportunity, as unusual as it may have been and he took it.
2. Be brave and have faith in leveraging your talents, you never know what you might achieve: As kids we are seemingly fearless and believe that we can truly achieve anything we want to. The only limits are our imaginations. Unfortunately life has a way of beating that out of us as we grow up, teaching us that showing off is not something people in polite society do. But maybe we should take the opinion of “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” and capitalise whilst we can. We never know when we might get the chance again.
3. Don’t worry about doing it wrong: They say it takes something like 10,000 hours to become an expert in your chosen field. It’s also well known that the only way we really learn is from our failures. And of course there really is no way to do being you in the wrong way.
4. People will always appreciate your sincere efforts to improve their day: Even though the little lad had his impromptu performance cut short people were already enjoying the light relief of what might have otherwise been a Saturday afternoon like any other. In return for which they were more than happy to give donations. Even after he was made to stop, they were purposely making an effort to reward his efforts. I think that just goes to show that even the smallest attempt to make someone smile can have an immeasurable impact. And I bet there were plenty of the audience who went on to tell their friends about it later, spreading the enjoyment that little bit farther.
5. Remember to say thank you and show your appreciation: I also loved that instead of taking the easy option and running off when he was told off by the warden. The kid actually took the time to say thank you to his audience and showed his appreciation by taking a bow.
6. Know when to let go: Finally, and one of the things I liked the most was that the kid knew when he was beaten. Instead of arguing with the warden he simply apologised, packed up the show and moved on. Its a shame we don’t all take that same tack sometimes.
Take a quick look at the video clip I managed to get before he was ushered away by the authorities. (Sorry about it being on its side though I was kinda caught on the fly!). People even started to boo the guy who told him to stop. I thought the whole thing was fantastic.
Lets hope he does something cool with his donations. : )