Let me share another true story with you.
As I have shared with you a number of times already, for over a decade I had a law office in downtown Chicago, IL on S. LaSalle street.
For those of you who do not know Chicago, LaSalle Street is a street similar to Wall Street in New York city, that runs through what is considered to be a portion of Chicago’s financial district and the Chicago Loop.
Late one Friday afternoon about 2:00 pm, the lawyer I shared office space with, Joseph Leonardi, came into my office and said, “Let’s go get a piece of pie.”
It had been a rough couple of weeks for both of us. Joseph was a litigator and was in the middle of a big trial and I was in the middle of the multiple transactional matters with very short deadlines.
So it was a good time for both of us to take a break and do something different and fun.
I immediately said, YES! From my point of view, any day that includes eating a piece of pie, is a good day.
“Pie is one of my favorite food groups.”Stephen Lesavich, PhD
So Joseph and I went on a quest to find a piece of pie. As we worked in downtown Chicago, there were not many bakeries anywhere close to our office. We had to travel away from downtown into the various neighborhoods of Chicago to find a bakery where we could actually buy a pie.
Our pie quest took place before the rideshare services like UBER and LYFT were available. So we had to take a taxi to the bakeries to buy a pie.
We did a quick search on the Internet and made a list of the nearest neighborhood bakeries that sold pies on a regular basis and hailed a cab in front of our building on LaSalle Street to begin our pie quest.
When we arrived at the first bakery, the clerk indicated that she had just sold the last available pie a few minutes before we arrived. We hopped back into the cab and went to the next bakery on the list. It was the same result. All the pies were sold out earlier in the day. We hopped back into the cab and went to the next bakery on the list. Again no pies. We repeated these actions many times until we visited all the bakeries on our list.
After spending $100+ on cab fare, we were dropped off back at our office, sad, dejected and disappointed. No pie.
Since our pie quest took up a lot of energy and it was getting late in the day, we decided to eat supper at a mom and pop restaurant around the corner and couple of blocks from our office.
When we arrived at the mom and pop restaurant, in the refrigerated case right by the check-out cash register, were three different kinds of pie. There was a whole banana cream, a coconut cream and a pumpkin pie.
We both immediately burst in laughter. After traveling 30+ miles in the neighborhoods of Chicago, spending $100+ on cab fare and several hours on our pie quest, we found the elusive pies just a few blocks from our office.
Joseph and I immediately each ordered and consumed 3 pieces of pie, one from each of the available pies. Finally, our pie quest had been successful!
It was definitely not a good idea to eat 3 pieces of pie all at once, but it tasted soooo good. I fell asleep very quickly on the train ride home from Chicago.
Our quest for a piece of pie was in part “titling at windmills,” a phrase found in the early 17th century novel, Don Quixote, by the author, Miguel de Cervantes.
Get additional insights on adding some joy and fun in your own life by titling at windmills from the Out There on the Edge of Everything® Podcast.
One definition of titling at windmills is “to use time and energy to attack a problem that is not actually important or may not even be real.”
For Joseph and I, the problem we attacked on that Friday afternoon, was the lack of an easily accessible and available piece of pie near our office in Chicago. A problem that was both important and real to us.
How can you add some joy and fun by “tilting at windmills” in your own life?
- Feed Your Inner Child. There are times when your soul just needs you to feed your inner child. Your inner child is defined as “a semi-independent subpersonality subordinate to your conscious mind.” Your inner child is that part of you that likes to have fun, like to laugh, giggle and do something childish or silly. Feeding your inner child is a form of positive play in which you engage in imaginative activities just like you did when you were actually a child. You don’t have to feed your inner child by going on a quest for pie like Joseph and I did. You can go to a movie, a museum, sit on bench and watch people, go for a walk in a park, wash and wax your car, etc. Pick any activity that you would normally not engage in on a daily basis, but one that makes you smile and leaves you feeling good. Feeding your Inner Child with an actual piece of pie is also a very good idea.
- Alter Your Normal Everyday Patterns. There are times when your soul just needs you to adjust and break your ingrained, everyday patterns. Your subconscious mind stores and loops through your own behavioral patterns that have been programmed in your subconscious mind. Your subconscious is full of your own engrained behavior patterns, behavior patterns that become “automatic” in your life. My engrained behavior patterns at that time included getting on a commuter train into Chicago very early each morning, walking a same route from the train station to my office each morning, putting in a 10 hour day, walking the same route from office to the train station in the evening and getting on a commuter train from Chicago to return. I altered my own ingrained behavior patterns going on a quest for pie. You can alter your normal everyday engrained patterns by doing something fun and silly. Do something that includes a reward (like a piece of pie) if your normal everyday patterns are successfully altered.
- Take a Different View of Your Local Environment. There are times when your soul needs you to experience joy and fun by “tilting at windmills.” To tilt a windmills in your own life, take a different look at your local environment first. In many instances, what you are looking for exists right in front of you, in your local environment. Look for joy and fun in your local environment by shifting your vantage point to that of a “neutral observer.” A neutral observer is someone who perceives something from a new higher point of view and a higher and expanded level of consciousness without forming any judgements or criticisms of what is being observed. Observe your local environment with childlike curiosity, interest and imagination. What can you see that you have never seen before? Even though Joseph and I traveled many miles into different neighborhoods in the city of Chicago on our quest for pie, we found the pie we were looking for just around the corner a few blocks from our office in our local environment. We could have saved the $100+ dollars we spent on cab fare and several hours in a taxi, if we had just taken a different look at our local environment first. Then again, that was part of our tiling at windmills process.
Tilting at windmills every now and then is a way to experience fun and joy and make a positive impact in your own life.
Unfortunately, my friend and colleague Joseph Leonardi passed away suddenly on October 20, 2021. I met Joseph when I was 12 years old and in Jr. High. He was a lifelong friend.
Joseph, I will remember you and our quest for pie that Friday afternoon and chuckle everytime time I enjoy a piece of pie the rest of my life. Thank you for creating that memory with me.
I will miss you my friend. Rest in Peace.
Out There on the Edge of Everything® …
Stephen Lesavich, PhD
Copyright © 2021, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD. All rights reserved.
Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.
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