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  • Writer's pictureBrian Reaves

Recognize the Value of a Moment


Joshua Bell experiment

On Friday, January 12, 2007, violin virtuoso Joshua Bell conducted a little experiment inside L’Enfant Plaza Metro entrance in the busy center of Washington DC. Dressed in jeans and a baseball cap like any other busker, he unpacked his two-million-dollar Stradivarius violin and began to play for the crowds rushing to and from their destinations.

For the next 43 minutes, Bell performed six classical pieces, including Bach, Massenet, Schubert, and Ponce. Out of the 1,097 people that passed by, 27 gave money, and only seven actually stopped and listened for any length of time. In total, Bell made $52.17...including $20 from someone who recognized him.

On any given night, people would pay over a hundred dollars for the chance to hear him play in concert, but on this day only seven people took advantage of the opportunity before them to hear him for free. Seven people stopped long enough to recognize the value of the moment and the skill of the person they were watching.

There are so many days for us that seem busy. Some days are packed to the minute with things to do, while others may be more casual, but the days of just "stopping to smell the roses", so to speak, are few and far between.

How many times do we miss priceless moments because we were too busy to notice them? Maybe it's that dinner with a loved one where you are both looking at your phones the whole time. Maybe it's the moment when your child asks you to play with them but you have something important to do. Maybe it's on your job when someone presents an incredible idea that could propel your organization forward but you don't give it a second thought because you're already thinking ahead to the end of the meeting.

My challenge to you this month is to be on the lookout for valuable moments. They are out there and happen with alarming regularity, but will you notice them or let them pass you by?

You might never stumble upon a virtuoso and his multi-million-dollar violin playing for tips, but you could possibly meet someone who has the insight to open doors for you professionally that take you to the next level in your career. Or perhaps you could be that person for someone else, and help them advance closer to their own personal goals and dreams for their lives.

The richest men who ever lived would have all traded their wealth for one more day of sunshine and laughter. Regardless of who you are and where you are, choose today to search relentlessly for the valuable moments in the world around you. And when you find them, savor them all.

You are meant to be more than "average"...and you are meant to help others feel that way about themselves too.

Brian Reaves the motivational Magician from Birmingham Alabama

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