I like to live in such a manner that I’ll always be generating new stories. That means if I have the opportunity to do something extremely random, I will jump on it just so I can talk about it afterwards. I find myself in these situations by always saying “yes” to the story. One of my favorite professors in college, Dr. Dragna, once said, “The moment is more important than what comes after the moment.” I consider that to be one of my life’s mottos.
For example, I eat in the places that look like they’re about to fall over because those places either have the best food you’ve ever eaten and/or have the best story. I like eating alone at those places because I belly up to the bar and schmooze with the owners and locals to get the history of the place and the area.
By saying “yes” in the moment I’ve had some of the most fascinating conversations. There was the 4am Waffle House talk with a local female stripper and a male sex worker in Wilmington, NC. I chatted with a full-time oyster shucker in Baton Rouge and shared a plane convo with the head of the Arizona Farmers’ Bureau. I randomly shot the breeze with Zack Galifinakis about rural North Carolina. One time I was also flown to Detroit to be in a pilot as a host of a new game show – all because of a conversation I had with some seemingly random guy after a show I was in.
I’ve also done some stupid things that in hind site I had no business doing. For example when I let some random well-dressed guy who approached me on the street in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, take me on a 3-hour tour of the city. The tour included 3 cab rides to who knows where (before I had GPS on my phone). Fortunately I wasn’t hurt but I’m pretty sure I was hustled.
My friends always ask me how I get into these situations. My answer is always the same, I said “yes.” I didn’t shy away from the conversation. Instead I became invested and asked follow-up questions that I was genuinely interested in knowing the answer to. Now I have a bunch of super random stories to share and appropriate and inappropriate moments!
How about you? What fun/random stories do you have? If you can’t think of any then it’s time to start saying “yes” more. Following the crowd or the hype can be fun, but then you have the same story as everyone else. Share some of your random stories and hole-in-wall restaurant recommendations in the comments section below or tweet me, @JamesTRobo!
And since we are in the spirit of sharing, here are some more random things I’ve done because I’ve said, “yes”:
-Toured the Celestial Seasoning’s tea plant
-Raced a 48’ sailboat on the ocean off the coast of North Carolina
-Spent 5 hours in a Scientology church in San Francisco just so I could learn more about it. (No, I am not a Scientologist now…or am I? Muahaha!)
-Toured a former nickel mine in Canada
-Raced brand new Mercedes-Benz’ on an airport runway
-Got a private tour of Maphis Eggland
-Pulled lobster traps on a fishing boat in Maine
-Visited Dinosaur Land in Winchester, Virginia
-Auditioned for and filmed this ridiculous YouTube video
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