Read My Mind

A True Life Adventure

by Dr. Robert Glover on Dec 11th, 2012.     12 comments

people-talking-on-sidewalkI’m a firm believer that miracles happen around people, so unless you’re around people, not much of interest will happen in your life. Every time I leave my house, I expect a miracle.

I frequently tell the men with whom I work, “I love waking up in the morning, not knowing how my day is going to end.”

I have found that most of the guys I work with don’t have very adventurous lives. This is especially true for the single guys. I have even had guys tell me that not knowing how their day is going to end would be “hell,” not an adventure. These guys love routine and certainty. That’s why they are single and don’t have much chance of that changing.

Reward is won through risk. No way around it.
You can’t steal second with your foot planted on first.

I conclude every one of my Dating Essentials for Men Q&A Podcasts with the following advice:

  • Get out of the house.

  • Expand your route.

  • Linger in Public.

  • Talk to everyone you meet.

  • Test for interest.

  • Walk through the open doors.

I know this sign-off isn’t catchy or even rocket science, but it is the foundation for building an interesting life and having unexpected experiences.

I teach men how to expand their social and emotional intelligence. This isn’t “pickup.” I don’t create “Geeks with Techniques.” I teach men effective social skills that help them expand their lives.

By getting out of the house and talking to everyone –people on a bus, people next to you in line, people in an elevator, people at a party, baristas and servers – you expand the possibility of interesting things happening.

Living this kind of social life, you don’t have to make anything happen; you just have to let it happen.

I want to tell you a story that I find fascinating. I swear, I’m not making it up. I don’t think I could. Everyone I’ve told it to says it sounds like something straight out of a movie. It is an elegant example of waking up in the morning, not knowing how the day is going to end.

Here’s my story.

I arrived in Puerto Vallarta on a Saturday for my six-month winter stay and spent the first couple of days unpacking and picking up supplies at Costco and the local fruit market. On Monday, I spent the evening at the local Starbucks (can’t beat the view of ocean and palm trees!).

About 9:00 PM I headed down the Malecón (a walkway along the ocean) toward the part of town near my condo, looking for a place to get a bite to eat. When I got into Old Town I saw Jorge, a local musician I know, talking to a group of people seated at a sidewalk café. When I stopped to say “Hola,” one of my best friends in PV, Rob, happened to be chatting with Jorge.

I sat and chatted with Rob and his group of friends, and after we caught up, I mentioned that I was going to get a bite to eat. They had just been to a new little spot with great fajitas and said it should still be open, even though it was close to 10:00 PM.

I walked the couple of blocks, found the restaurant, sat down at one of the two tables on the sidewalk, and ordered fajitas. Right after my food arrived, a group of three people walked out of the restaurant and paused on the sidewalk. One gentleman asked how my food was, and I told him it was good. When I asked where he was from, he said Seattle, so I asked him what part.

As we talked I mentioned that my parents lived on Capital Hill in Seattle when I was born. When he asked what area, I told him I didn’t know, because I was only a few weeks old, but that my mother had gone to Garfield High School.

He got inquisitive. He asked what year my mother graduated, because he was in the class of ’53 at Garfield High. I said I wasn’t sure, but early 50’s. He asked my mother’s last name. “Langford.”

Without hesitation, he asked, “Estelle or Esther?”

He obviously knew my mother.

I replied that my mother is Estelle, and her twin sister is Esther. We laughed about the coincidence. He said that he’d been on the cap and gown committee with my mom and aunt and that he is on the reunion committee now.

I got his email address and marveled about it being such a small world.

The next day I called my mother and left her a voice mail. Then we talked the following day, and I told her the story just as I have written it here. Then I told her his name, and she burst out laughing.

“He was my first boyfriend!” she laughed.

I asked my mom if he knew that. “He might not know he was my first,” she replied, “but he asked me out on my very first date.”

OK, so what are the odds???

What are the odds of my leaving the Starbucks in Puerto Vallarta exactly when I did, going for a walk, and just happening to run into my friend, then our sitting and talking for a bit before he mentions a new restaurant I have never been to before, and my deciding to go there and have dinner, and my mom’s first boyfriend happening to be there at the same time, and walking out and asking me how my food is, and my asking where he is from, and the conversation ending up about where he went to high school, and his knowing my mom and being her first boyfriend – and all of this happening in a third-world country at 10:30 PM on a Sunday night?

Hmmm, life is an adventure.

A Jewish proverb states, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

I promise, you can’t write a script that even compares to the one waiting for you if you’ll get out of the house and start talking to people.

I love waking up in the morning, not knowing how my day is going to end.

Go have a great life.


Topics: Dating Essentials Relationships Social Intelligence


Patrick says ...
Great post Doc and true! Open your eyes and your heart and enjoy the ride!
Amy Alkon says ...
Great advice, and loved the story.

I always, always talk to strangers, and have met some incredible people that way.

I'm an author, so I was in the "green room" (the author eats and drinks area) at LA Times Festival of Books, and another author I know sat down with my boyfriend and me. She said she wished she could be like me, talking to strangers; that she wanted to go talk to somebody but was afraid to.

I told her, "I'm sometimes afraid, too, but I see no reason to let that stop me."
Steve says ...
PV sounds like Seattle with warm weather! Starbucks and Costco? Enjoy your yearly visit to PV, I'm envious. Oh, I have so many small world stories that I could tell. It really is a small world... Thanks!
Lucky says ...
That little safety of Mexico video is hysterical. "Don't drink the water... you'll sh** till you die!". Classic!

As for the story... I'm reminded of a little truth that was revealed to me the hard way. Their is no such thing as a safety net! Their are no guarantees in life. EVERYTHING you have can be taken away in a snap. So live life wide open, don't fear taking risks because it's just as risky not to take them.
Greg says ...
Yup, I had a similar experience when I was 16. In the middle of the Alaska wilderness on a several hour long bus trip to see Mount McKinley (now Denali) I was standing in line at a bathroom stop wearing my high school jacket when the guy behind me asked about my high school. It turned out he was the father of a friend from my home town. It taught me early that the world can be a small place.
Paul says ...
Wow, amazing story Robert. Very inspirational.

Personally I am trying to get out more and do the things you mention although I still find it awkward, so much of my life has been spent avoiding people and only now am I realizing the true joy of meeting others.
Dave Lockwood says ...
I've got one for you, which also happened in a Starbucks (hmmmm).

I was sitting at one of the community tables on a busy day, and I just happened to make a little small talk with the gentleman across the table from me - something about the rain.

I don't remember how it came up, but he (his name was Bill) said something about going to the funeral of his brother in law in Albany, NY - we were in Atlanta at the time. I had gone to college in Albany. He mentioned that he died of an aneurysm, and that he owned a music store.
I'm thinking, what are the odds. So, I say, "Was his name Sam Farkas?". Bill understandably freaked out a bit.
Sam was my first great guitar teacher, and had died on a gig 2 years ago. I'm a professional guitarist , and Sam was very important to me musically and personally, as he was a great mentor for me. Again, what are the odds?
Can you say serendipity?
Peter says ...
“I love waking up in the morning, not knowing how my day is going to end.”
Life as adventure...nice
Igor says ...
Good story. I like it. Though I want to mention that you did not get anything useful for yourself from this meeting. More like a story about small world. But I do share your point about getting out, talking to people, asking for what you want. Or as you put it

Get out of the house.
Expand your route.
Linger in Public.
Talk to everyone you meet.
Test for interest.
Walk through the open doors

I often think about how succesful I was if I was not such a stupid procrastinating nice guy. And after forming a codependent relationship with "a psycho beach from hell" (and not being able to get out) I am a bit afraid to get out and talk to people.
Dinesh says ...
I am already inspired. Thank you Robert.
Robert Glover says ...
I am enjoying reading everyone's response to this blog article. Life truly is an interesting adventure if you get out there and connect with people.

One person commented that I got nothing useful for myself out of the experience. This strikes me as the kind of attachment to outcome that get's in the way of many Nice Guys having what they want in life.

Actually, it feels the opposite to me. I made an interesting connection. I learned more about my mother. I have entertained several friends with the story. Who knows what connection might come with the man I met? But mostly, I grew through the experience. It is a memory and lesson that still makes me smile. I'll take that to the bank any day of the week.

When it is all said and done, what do we get for ourselves out of any of life's experiences other than a pleasurable experience in the moment and a memory to take with us?

David Pesta says ...
Hello Doctor,
I learned the hard way it might come back to haunt
you if you complement another man's date on anything,
especially her appearance. No matter how innocent and
well meaning. The guy just may be best friends with
your supervisor. Much better to say what a nice looking
couple. Everybody's happy!
Best Wishes,
David Pesta


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