A few weeks ago I was walking early in the morning in the local park near my house, in the small Spanish town of Aranjuez. As I ventured into an unknown path, I found myself looking upon what seemed to be an old stone structure directly at the end of the river. I asked a older Spanish gentleman passing by, what exactly was it that I was looking at? And he confirmed that it was indeed an old castle.
I then summoned up the courage and asked him, “Excuse me, I have a question for you. What advice would you have for a young person such as myself, to avoid making mistakes in the future?” And I just shut my mouth and waited. He paused for a brief moment and then said, “To be honest, to live a life of dignity and honor. You must be a good worker, work hard in whatever you do. Enjoy your work. Be good, be a good person with honor. ” Then he paused one more time to reflect for a brief second and proceeded to say, “To have tranquility inside. Calmness inside.”
Although the conversation took no more than a minute, it felt like a lifetime in the presence of an elderly wise man. I could see that he too felt somewhat more alive with a perk in his step, after sharing a bit of his own personal wisdom. We parted ways as he embraced my hand with both of his hands in a gesture of thankfulness for allowing one human being to connect and impart their own life lessons unto another.
I was hooked!
I first got the idea from my good friend, who mentioned of his own experience and the incredible encounter he had with doing the exact same thing, asking an elderly stranger, for some sage advice.
Which leads me to my next adventure. For the next 365 days I am going to ask a different person each day, What advice do you have for a young person to avoid making mistakes?
I am not entirely sure what will happen over the course of the next 365 days, lets wait and see. If anything it will be a great experience and discovery into the hearts and minds of those that have been on this planet far longer than I.