The last two weeks have been busy. Doing the first experiment at Tampines Rovers FC. Meeting a lot of people. Finding my way. Writing the blog. Arranging the second experiment. Basically, a lot is happening around me. All new — and awesome — experiences.
Normally, I hate being busy. To me, being busy is a form of laziness. A lack of prioritization.
But with doing new things, there is always this period where you throw as much spaghetti against the wall as possible, to see what sticks.
I’m right in the middle of that.
Last week, I took an afternoon off. To pause and reflect. I went to my favorite coffee place in Johor Bahru, called Lavender.
After receiving my coffee, I keep my laptop closed. On purpose. And as I look around, I notice a few things. The modern interior. A beautiful vase with an even more astonishing red and green plant of which I don’t know the name. The smooth and mellow music that’s playing. And the dimmed lighting to create a cozy ambiance.
Also, there are 16 others having coffee. Yes, I’ve counted them. Of the 16 people, 14 are gazing into the screens of their smartphone. BIG screens. With their minds completely on a different planet.
The other two are talking to each other.
You don’t need to be a social genius to figure out they’re talking about me. They glance over every five seconds. But, after traveling through Asia for over two months, I’m used to that. Being a tall blonde guy with a different skin color, I do not blend in that well. To say the least.
I smile at them. They smile back. While their conversation continues.
Then, I slowly realize what’s going on. They aren’t talking about me because I look different. Maybe they did in the beginning. But they talk about me because I act different. I do something nobody else is doing:
I’m the weird guy that’s not looking into a screen…
I’m the freak who is just drinking his coffee…
And the strangest thing of all: I even seem to enjoy it…
For a moment, I feel like I understand Behasa Melayu (Malay language) and can hear them talking: ‘Doesn’t he have messages to respond to on WhatsApp?!’, ‘No likes on his last photo on Instagram!?’, ‘He must be very lonely, all by himself…’
Just as I start to feel uncomfortable, a calming second realization sinks in:
Everyone tries so hard to be different. To stand out. Be unique. Guess what? It has never been easier:
Just enjoy your coffee…
In my blogs I share my experiences while on a challenge to do #80experiments at 80 different companies, globally.
The central question: Why do some people follow up on their ideas, while others don’t?
My next blog will cover: Creativity, idea generation, and the importance of capturing ideas.