Great stories are like the human brain.
Eighty-five percent of our brains are water. A majority of the mass has little to do with anything. It just exists to allow the rest of your brain to function.
The other 15% keeps you alive and defines who you are.
Our lives are filled with the routine of life. Most of what we do makes very little difference in the type of story we are living. Routine decisions. The normalcy of a day. Habits, both good and bad.
But our lives are defined and remembered by the few magical moments that occur.
Remarkable experiences don’t just happen. They are a result of being intentional. We have to recognize them when they show up disguised and be ready grab onto them.
A blind man experienced a remarkable moment at a U2 concert last summer, and from watching him we can learn 3 different elements to creating these moments.
The show was over. U2 had played their last song, and were ready to exit. Before leaving, Bono, the lead singer, noticed a man towards the front holding a sign that read, “Blind guitar player, bring me up.”
Then the unthinkable happened. A man who showed up with a sign and a glimmer of hope found himself on stage.
The only word I can come up with is remarkable.
(If you are unable to view the video in your browser or email, click here.)
At first glance it may appear to be pure luck, but work went into making such a moment happen.
The first step was taken when this man learned to play guitar. When he took up lessons, it was not with the goal of having this moment.
He developed a skill even without the promise of greatness, but when the opportunity came, he was ready.
He then made a sign. Can you imagine the doubt that went through his mind?
This is stupid. The band will never notice. I’ll be just another idiot with a sign. I should go and listen like everybody else.
There was a dream, and he was passionate enough about his dream to try something that seemed unlikely if not absurd.
And it worked.
Can you imagine how many people try to grab Bono’s attention everyday?
If it were me, I would stop noticing. I would ignore everyone who tried to get close.
Yet Bono noticed.
The only way we can make a difference in someone’s life is to notice them. We have to take our gaze off of ourselves and our agenda for a least a moment and pay attention to everyone around us.
We have to notice our wives. We have to notice our kids. We have to notice our friends. We have to notice those who are in need.
And we have to be willing to help. To reach out. To give money. To lend a listening hear. To offer patience and understanding. To hand out smiles and gratitude.
It may seem like the only person who benefited most from this experience was the blind man. I bet, though, that it made Bono just as happy.
Being gracious makes our own stories better as well as those we help.
No matter how much you practice, nothing can prepare you to play on stage with a musical icon while 40,000 people listen.
When Bono called out to the man, he had to have the courage to walk on stage and play.
I am sure he was nervous. Probably scared. But when the voices entered his head telling him to sit down and shut up, he didn’t listen.
When his self screamed that he was not good enough, that this was dumb, that he was going to make a fool out of himself, he shoved it behind, and answered the call.
What if he hadn’t? What if he had decided that it was dumb idea and he should stay in his seat? The chance of a lifetime would have drifted away. Forever.
It makes me wonder how often I have missed out on incredible experiences simply because I lacked the courage to get up on the stage and sing.
Let’s make it our goal to be prepared.
Let’s show grace to others.
Let’s have the courage to pursue incredible moments.
Are you willing to answer the call? Tell us about your most remarkable experience and how it happened.