Connection on the roof in Paris

Connection on the roof in Paris

“Know who you are and be it”
has been the tag line for Vision for Your  Life since it’s inception and I have focused on the “knowing” part more than the “being” part. In this months newsletter I want to talk a little about “being it” and note the need to push through our “personality” and live out of our “Core.” Your “Core Motivator” is why you do what you do the way you do it, and your personality is often the lens you live
through. While personality is important, we must focus on our core in order to live fully.


My son and I sat down at a table on the sidewalk at a lovely little bistro in Paris, next to a group of three other Americans – a man and two women. Although we had just arrived they were ready for their bill and anxious to move on. They asked for the check, the waiter acknowledged them and then they sat. And sat, and sat. The mother in the group became progressively annoyed that it was taking so long for the bill to come, and I overheard her say she was going to call the waiter again.


I leaned over to their table
and said, “This is France and here it takes a long time to get your bill. The French don’t believe in fast food, and dinner is an evening’s experience. If you harass your waiter it will take even longer.” They thanked me for this explanation of French customs and asked me where I was from. I told them I lived outside of Toronto now, but had lived in St.  Louis prior to coming to Canada. They laughed and said that they were from St. Louis also. Two of their party were in city London as part of a Washington University MBA program exchange, and they had decided to come to Paris for the weekend. The mother was just
visiting for a couple of days and tagged along.


We talked some more (my lamenting that they were having to eat British food for two weeks, when they were so close to Paris) and found out that they were even staying at the same hotel as we were. The check (l’addition) finally came and the mother and daughter left while Brent stayed around to share some of our wine, talk some more about France,
and US politics and savor the joys of a long dinner. We watched an elderly French man sit at his table for a long time and tried to outlast him (which we did) and marveled at a culture where there is no
equivalent translation for the phrase “fast food.”


Meeting a stranger in Paris and becoming
friends was one of the many highlights of the trip and on my way back to the hotel with my son we talked about what it is for me to live out of my “Core Motivator” of “Relationships.” I’m generally an introvert, and I don’t normally talk to strangers, but when I push past my “introvert” personality trait, and live out of my “Core Motivator” I enjoy life more. My friend Kevin Jenkins has graciously written a wonderful recommendation which is now posted on the “hear from our clients” part of this web page and as I read it I was struck by something he said. He said that “Vision For Your Life had even affected his social life, and as I read that I thought “that’s true and it’s important.”


Two days later, we were joined in Paris by a friend and his son and after an exhausting day of sightseeing and a huge lunch I suggested we skip dinner and instead buy a couple bottles of wine, some cheese and baguettes, and sit on the rooftop terrace of our hotel enjoying the view of Paris at night. We all agreed and as we were enjoying the evening I thought about Brent and wondered if he was still at the hotel. I left a message with Cedrick (whom you’ll remember from last months letter) to invite Brent to join us on the roof, and around 11:00 he did. We had a fantastic time – the five of us listening to some of Brent’s stories (he was just back from Iraq) – talking about politics and the international situation and of course the French.  It was one of the best nights of the trip and we would all have missed it if I had given in to my fear of talking to strangers, or my introvert personality instead of leading out of my “Core


This is true for all of us, and every “Core Motivator.”  We need to ask the “being it” questions. Who have you not cared for because of your fear? What team did you not join because of your personality? What opportunity to create did you miss because you were timid? What activity or project was not made perfect because you didn’t want the exposure? Who did you not serve because you were afraid of weakness? We all miss opportunities to live out of our “Core Motivator” because of our fears, or personality or some other external reason, but we need to be reminded that the one who loses the most is us. You don’t get to the roof unless you talk to them at the Bistro. L’addition, si vous plait!


About the author / bobperkins

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