We all occasionally get a sense that we should do something odd, random or unexpected. What we do with that impulse, can sometimes change life completely as we know it. I am privileged to have heard many of these stories, this one stands out as inspiring as the man who shared it.
Just as James was heading out the door for a weekend seminar he thought to put the flute that he had not played for four years in the back of his car. This seemed a random thought, but he grabbed it and tossed it on the top of his suitcase. Little did he know that as part of this purpose workshop, he and the other participants would be given a unique challenge.
Participants were put into teams at about 8
o’clock in the evening. To complete the challenge, the instructions were that each team member would find a random audience to perform for, create an impromptu performance of some talent, and earn some form of payment from the audience. The teams were together to provide support and witness to this individual challenge. The last instruction was to return to the workshop the next morning by 9 o’clock with the payment to explain the project and share what you learned from it.
James was delighted that he brought his flute, and though a bit rusty, he found an outdoor mall and began playing. His team members encouraged the audience to pay James and he got some coins, a guitar pick, a paper clip, barrettes and other forms of payment including the business card of a restaurant manager who was interested in hiring him for a weekly gig. The lesson James learned was that as an engineer, he was not expressing all of himself in his job and was seeking ways to live the other areas of his authentic purpose.
James took that job playing the flute and began finding ways to use his art on a regular basis to bring joy and peace to others. He joined the worship band at his church and added just the sound they needed. During the holiday season especially, he remained solidly booked playing carols and standards. James followed his impulse which led him to the self-expression and contribution that was lacking in his life.
Imagine the possibilities of following your impulses. You never know where it might lead.