71 comments

How to Walk Across a Parking Lot: Introducing Raptitude

parkinglot2Since it’s still the weekend, we get to broaden our minds with more side topics and nobody will complain.

I’ve recently discovered a neat blog about living a good life, and read through a bunch of the articles. When I sent a link to one of them on Twitter, the author of the blog, David Cain, noticed and wrote back. Since then we’ve been happily reading and referring to each other’s stuff, so I thought I’d introduce him to you formally by republishing one of his classic posts here (with his permission). I think you’ll find him to be pretty cool as well.

How to Walk Across a Parking Lot

by David Cain

Ease up on the gas, that’s the first thing. Drop your speed to just a little slower than “necessary”, because to do this right you can’t be getting ahead of yourself.

And there could be kids around. Maybe yours even, if this is one of those times when you don’t know what they’re up to. As always, you’re in a china shop, so be gentle.

When you see a vacant spot, your natural tendency might be to thrust your motor-carriage in there as quickly as possible, antsy that some circling vulture in a Jeep YJ and white sunglasses will wheel in there first and pretend he didn’t see you already headed that way.

That won’t happen, but you should be prepared to let it. Letting angst park your car for you is a rookie mistake. There is a better spot farther away. Walking a little more is an advantage, unless you think (as many do) that walking across a parking lot is a wasted and purely obligatory part of a person’s life. Clearly you wouldn’t be reading this if you were truly convinced that the worthwhile part of life happens only once you’re across the parking lot, inside Wal-Mart or Safeway or whatever.

If that first spot is your spot, and you can take it with grace, then do so. Or keep moving until you find one. You’ll find one.

Park. Turn off the ignition. Before you exit the carriage, pause for a moment. Now, I should clarify that by pause I don’t mean “wait.” There is nothing to wait for if you are pausing. To pause is to stop and pay attention. To wait is to stop your body while you continue to the next moment in your head. For a proper parking-lot-crossing — or a proper anything-else — we want to avoid this.

So pause, and at least remember how cool it is that you were able to sit all the way here. Your ancestors would have been too humble to even joke about a chair that hurtles across cities. You sat all the way here. Good for you, for living in such a time. If you do nothing else right today, at least you sat at fifty miles an hour.

Feel your weight in the seat, because you’re about to relieve it of its thankless services and let the pavement take over. Open the door, and as you do so, listen to exactly what it sounds like in the moment that inside becomes outside.

It’s a remarkable sound, and while you have a chance to hear it several times a day, you probably pass up most of those chances because your mind is somewhere else. Since we’re doing a high-quality crossing of the parking lot for a change, make sure you’re there for it this time.

Now you’re outside the car, standing on a great asphalt platter. This is not a bad time to stretch, but you don’t have to. You might as well. Stretching is something people generally don’t regret doing.

When it’s time to walk across the parking lot, don’t walk like everyone else. Most of them won’t even really be walking. Look around, they’re probably more marching than anything. Maybe scurrying. They want to be anywhere but walking across a parking lot.

A lot of the time when we’re walking, we’re doing it just so we can be done with walking. There are times when that’s not true though. If you can walk across a parking lot like you’re walking in a bathrobe from the shower to the kitchen on a saturday morning, then you can make vast swaths of your time on this earth much better. This is no joke. If you get it, you get it.

That bathrobe pace and posture is the proper way to cross a parking lot. It should feel like you’re traveling alongside the pool to the snack bar — nothing disagreeable about the in-between part, and it shows in your face and your pace. I guess the verb we’re looking for is basking. Bask while you walk. It doesn’t need to be “nice” out. Yes, you can bask in cold air too. You can bask in rain. And if it’s sunny, well, lucky you.

Even if you run into an anxious car waiting for you to cross a lane, do not hurry! You have the right of way but you may still be tempted to trot a little bit here. Don’t do it. Let them wait. Remember, waiting is a choice, and they’re sitting in a motorized throne with music and climate control. Continue your poolside pace, and don’t forget to enjoy this part too. Deciding not to worry about making someone wait is one of life’s great feelings.

Eventually you’ll run out of parking lot and you’ll find another door. Make sure you are there for the moment that outside turns to inside.

Do this. Millions of people live and die without ever suspecting that joy can be had in the simple act of crossing a parking lot. If you think this post is ridiculous, you may be one of them.

***

Mr. Cain writes the blog Raptitude. Other posts I liked from him include the broad anti-sucka-consumerism epic How to Make Trillions of Dollars, and  How to Grow, which is a bit of a Raptitudeized copy of my Zero to Hero post, designed to introduce new readers to the blog

  • CL March 24, 2013, 12:17 pm

    I’ve been reading Raptitude as it’s been popping up on Hacker News lately. I like his style and his emphasis on mindfulness.

    Reply
  • Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies March 24, 2013, 1:29 pm

    This time of year our town is overrun by snowbirds and trying to do anything out in public at a faster pace than a 70-year-old is probably going to be an exercise in futility. So for about 5 months out of the year, we slow down.
    We stroll through the grocery store. We park on the outer edges of the parking lot. We ignore the urge to weave around cars that are driving under the speed limit.
    You can try to speed ahead, but more often than not, merging with the 70-year-olds is going to get you there just as quickly as trying to zoom ahead only to get caught at a red light behind more 70-year-olds. =)

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 24, 2013, 2:16 pm

      Sounds very serene. There are many times in my town when I’d be happy have the roads filled with Buick Regals gliding along at 21 Mph instead of the mixed bag of hooligans and telephoning executives we have here now. They’re quiet, and since I’ll be over on the bike path anyway I don’t care about how fast or slow the cars go.

      Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 24, 2013, 2:19 pm

      Sounds very serene. There are many times in my town when I’d be happy have the roads filled with Buick Regals gliding along at 21 Mph instead of the mixed bag of hooligans and telephoning executives we have here now. .

      Reply
    • slowth March 24, 2013, 3:22 pm

      I’ve had elderly folks apologize to me for taking too much time, usually in a grocery store. No need to apologize, they are giving the rest of the world time to slow down and think.

      Reply
    • CL March 24, 2013, 4:12 pm

      My parents are retiring in Sarasota, FL and I visit sometimes. I like the pace of life in Florida. My dad wakes us all up to go to the beach to catch the morning tide so he can fish and then we go to bed around 8 PM at night. That schedule might be normal for senior citizens, but it’s pretty rare for 21-year-olds. It’s nice to have a vacation like that, though.

      Reply
    • Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle March 25, 2013, 8:47 pm

      I am one of the cities in southern Ontario that is happy to have a break when all the snowbirds head south.

      They will be back soon and taking up 2 parking spots and not understanding the concept of the turning lane on our busy roads and complaing that the stores are too busy on Saturdays when they are retired and could shop on a Tuesday and saying over and over and over again in every store that things are cheaper and better in Florida.

      I want to tell them to give up their Canadian citizenship and move to Florida permanently but they would never do that. They want the free health care, the free drugs and all the pension money they can get out of the government but they want to do all their spending in Florida and all their complaining here in Canada.

      Reply
      • GregK March 27, 2013, 6:00 am

        Holy negativity, Batman! I see from your blog you’re in the midst of a massive debt emergency, so I’ll cut you some slack… but go easy on those old people! They’ve paid into the system more than you have.

        Reply
        • Gerard March 27, 2013, 6:47 am

          Well, probably not, actually, as they contributed small amounts to CPP in the years before the government realized the system would need actual funding, plus they started contributing late (because there was no system when they were young). So they’re basically collecting lots from a system that they barely contributed to. In Canada, pretty well anyone over 50 (and that includes me) will end up taking far more than we’ve given.
          On the other hand, we’re not going to change the old whiners by, uh, whining about them, so I’ll just shut up now! :-)

          Reply
      • Joggernot April 11, 2014, 4:58 am

        Interesting to hear the other side of things…We love our “Winter Texans” down here and, yes, many come from Canada. I spent one winter fishing with a man from Ottawa and we had a great time sharing bait, tackle, techniques, and beer almost every evening. Of course I spend a lot of time going 40 in a 55 mph zone, but often find a Texas license plate on the slow car/truck up ahead. I just say, “ok, now I’m Ecomodding and saving gas money”. I get to my destination at most a minute later than if I went the full 55 mph, so it really doesn’t matter.

        Reply
  • Mr,1500 March 24, 2013, 2:28 pm

    He’s got me wanting to give kettlebells a shot. Neat site.

    Reply
  • Johnny Moneyseed March 24, 2013, 2:32 pm

    I lived in a tourist trap town for most of my life (Newport, RI) and I think I can relate pretty well to this post. Most seasonal visitors are only in town for a couple days, so they’re trying to see, do and eat everything as quickly as possible. Being a local you have the freedom to slow down, and walk the streets aimlessly and enjoy the atmosphere. There’s nowhere you really need to be, and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

    Reply
  • Corey March 24, 2013, 3:42 pm

    Right on.

    I do the same thing when I fire up the compressor to drive a few nails. Bam, bam. Stop. Head up, look around. Imagine some house framer in the 70s pounding away for 5 minutes with his framing hammer. I just did the same thing in 15 seconds and man, it was fun.

    Life is good.

    Reply
  • CashRebel March 24, 2013, 4:37 pm

    Wow, Well said. I really connect with this way of thinking. Throughout a typical day, sometimes I’ll catch sight of myself in a mirror or a window, and I just smile because of all the ridiculous stuff that happens to me every day. I take a train to work and get to expand my brain while getting paid! So many folks only know frowns, but there is the secret to life is understanding that every moment of every day is outstanding if you know where to look.

    Reply
  • Mr,1500 March 24, 2013, 4:42 pm

    This guy is making me want to give kettlebells a shot.

    Reply
  • rjack (Mr. Asset Allocation) March 24, 2013, 5:00 pm

    It’s a small world. I’ve been aware of David Cain and Raptitude since he started his blog. In fact, we used to be part of this small group of new bloggers that encouraged each other and shared information. I had a blog called “A Content Life”. My life is still content, but the blog no longer exists. I blog about other stuff now.

    David is a great writer and a real pleasure to read!

    Reply
    • David Cain March 24, 2013, 6:11 pm

      Roger!

      It’s been so long. Back then Raptitude had 9 readers. The eight of you, and my mom. I watched the others retire from blogging one by one, but we’re all still out there somewhere.

      Reply
      • rjack (Mr. Asset Allocation) March 25, 2013, 6:08 pm

        Yep. Your blog survived as I knew it would.

        You are a true craftsman and your writing helps me visualize things from a different perspective. Maybe there should be a book in the future?

        Reply
  • zweipersona March 24, 2013, 5:01 pm

    I understand where the author’s coming from here, and I go about halfway on this (I park my car far faaar away from where the majority of people would park). Can’t do the bathroom stroll though.

    That said, thanks MMM, for introducing us to this writer. I read the ‘how to make trillions’ article, and it couldn’t ring anymore true, and it couldn’t have been written anymore clearly. Bookmark earned.

    Reply
  • Emily Allred March 24, 2013, 8:02 pm

    i love this piece! Unless it’s hailing, why do you care what part of the parking lot you park in? If you have to walk, walk. If there is an open space close, feel triumphant. But circling, cussing, and getting angry? I don’t get it, and I don’t waste time doing it. Why bother?

    Unless you’re really going to do it right, and smash into the other car while screaming “TOWANDA”, of course. :D

    Reply
    • Petra March 25, 2013, 2:17 am

      My boyfriend does this. Circling the parking lot to find that one space closest to the shop. It takes us 5 minutes to shave off 1 minute of walking. As he’s in the driver’s seat, I finally gave up on trying to convince him to just park the bloody thing. Maybe I should try to enjoy sitting there, all warm and comfy, until he finds the Perfect Spot.

      Reply
      • jamesqf March 25, 2013, 9:55 pm

        Humm… Ever think of getting a new boyfriend?

        Reply
    • emperor joh March 25, 2013, 10:53 pm

      The TOWANDA comment is fantastic. Well played

      Reply
  • Chris March 24, 2013, 8:39 pm

    I love the sentiment. But it happens that I live in a part of the world where people looking to park are aggressive enough that if I’m walking across a parking lot, I actually fear for my life.

    It takes a bit out of these things.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 25, 2013, 2:01 pm

      I guess you’ll have to switch to biking, as I did. I never have to walk across parking lots! ;-)

      Reply
  • Cam H. March 24, 2013, 10:50 pm

    I’ve actually done this kind of parking lot walking, just haven’t realized it until I read this post. Not too fast, not too slow. Head up looking around, up at the sky, watching other people who don’t notice me at all. Lately, I’ve been taking deep breaths through my nose as I walk toward the doors. This might be because I think I smell springtime in the air, though it could be my mind just longing for it (Minnesota winters are long and we are still in it full force). I’m going to be more aware of this type of walking and try to do it more often…. especially when the sun and warmth comes back. But it even feels great during a snow storm.

    Reply
  • My Financial Independence Journey March 25, 2013, 3:38 am

    I usually just grab the first spot that I can find, no matter where it is and then walk to the store. Nowhere near as mindful of the entire experience as the post’s author. With the possible exception of during one of the rare nice days. Then I’m probably more mindful.

    Reply
  • Maverick March 25, 2013, 3:45 am

    Been parking at the far end of the lot since I first started to drive. The purpose was to prevent door dings. The benefit is the walk. Love the walk, no matter the weather. But I prefer to walk at a brisk pace. And if I need a cart, I bring one into the store from near my vehicle.

    Reply
  • Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce March 25, 2013, 6:05 am

    SO happy you turned me on to David, MMM. Right up my alley, and incredible writing. The blogosphere is so enormous; it’s helpful when writers who you respect direct you away from the schlock. Can’t wait to read more!

    Reply
  • Chris March 25, 2013, 8:21 am

    He’s just jealous of my white sunglasses. I drive a Scion xB though, not a jeep.

    Reply
  • Kenneth March 25, 2013, 9:40 am

    I think MMM could learn a lot from David Cain. It’s OK to have less than 16 hours of your day scheduled when you are “retired”, slaving away on the next building project or writing your blog. It’s OK to just sit on the deck or lawn, basking in the sun, just being quiet. Especially quieting your mind. Time enough to get those pesky projects done when you feel like it. And if they seem to be too pressing, then maybe you have a problem with overscheduling your time. I’m a lot lazier than MMM, and I’m not going to change that – I enjoy it. To each their own I guess.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 25, 2013, 10:28 am

      Hahaha! I appreciate the challenge, Kenneth! But I think the impression you have of my lifestyle represents a flaw in my writing style rather than in my ability to sit back and accomplish nothing with a quiet mind for a while. I probably haven’t explained things clearly enough. Just as a quick review:

      - the only time I even CONSIDER doing work is when my son is in school: 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday, except during the frequent school holidays and late-start days and family vacations.
      - most of these days, after I bike to school with him and return home, I start with an hour or two of relaxing at home to have Second Breakfast and maybe poke around on the blog a bit. Read some of a book, write whatever comes to mind.
      - Long lunch breaks are common, where I come home to meet with Mrs. MM, drink a latte, and occasionally walk downtown for a lunch date
      - If the weather is anything less than warm and sunny, I cancel the outdoor work and take some time to catch up on indoor fun those days.

      So if I have a neighborhood project on the go (which happens 2-3 months per year), I might work 10-15 out of the possible 30 hours a week. The other 138 hours, I’m with the family – playing board games, reading books, cooking food, hiking, doing science experiments… whatever.

      The lack of productive time is the reason this blog is so slow at times, and my writing sometimes lacks the effort and research that the Mustachians deserve. But I’m trying to maintain the retired lifestyle, and not let the blog hobby turn into a job, so it will stay this way for now. Instead of getting stressed, I’m trying to work on developing better habits so I can get more done without sacrificing leisure time.

      Doing TOO little, however, would indeed make me unhappy. For example, I need at least a couple hours of SOME kind of physical activity each day, or I get grumpy as well as unhealthy. And I need to interact occasionally with people other than my wife and son. Building things and writing definitely help fill these extra needs.

      Reply
  • Juli March 25, 2013, 9:58 am

    I’ve never understood the people who will sit and wait for two minutes for the other car to pull out so they can park close to the store. It would be faster for them to park farther away and just walk the extra twenty feet or whatever. I go grocery shopping with two little boys, so I will park farther away from the entrance so that I can park right next to the shopping cart return — I can unload them from the car and put the little guy right in the shopping cart seat and the older one stands on the end. Much less worrying about them running in front of cars! And burning a few extra calories is a bonus for me.

    Reply
    • Accidental Miser March 25, 2013, 3:48 pm

      It’s not about faster, it’s always about shorter. If people can waste time in order to be lazy, it’s a two-for-one bonus!

      Reply
  • jamesqf March 25, 2013, 10:42 am

    I disagree. This is just life in low gear, maybe with the parking brake on. The way to cross a parking lot, or indeed, to do most walking, is to walk fast. Get the heart pumping, the blood circulating the oxygen that your deep breaths are taking in. My dogs understand this: do they stroll along? No, they may stop to sniff something interesting, then run to catch up. Even my horse understands: except when we’re doing the poor tired horse act, rides are “Why are we walking so slow, here? I wanna trot. Yes, trot, trot, CANTER! Wasn’t that FUN?”

    Reply
  • Sister X March 25, 2013, 11:25 am

    Am I the only one who started stretching my shoulders out when reading the part about stretching?
    David’s right, I didn’t regret it. :)

    Reply
  • chicago rose March 25, 2013, 11:38 am

    Love this…I discovered a while ago that I can enjoy almost any activity as long as I don’t have to rush.

    Reply
  • Chipamogli March 25, 2013, 12:29 pm

    Hehe reminds me of my dad. Even when the parking lot wasn’t busy (no circling or waiting needed), he would park far away. I used to get annoyed at this, and he used to get annoyed at me for wanting to park closer… I rarely drive now as I no longer own a vehicle, but when I do, I use my dad’s strategy :)

    Reply
  • Freeyourchains March 25, 2013, 12:45 pm

    Interesting article, A side note on Age correspondence to Time:

    since a minute in the life of a 25 year old is less experienced, then a min in the life of a 75 year old.

    The 75 year old has experienced 39,420,000 minutes of his/her life. The 25 year old has only experienced 13,140,000 minutes of his/her life.
    Thus the 25 year old has lived less time, and feels a rush to do everything very fast, because his experienced minute seems shorter to him/her.

    The 75 year old has lived more time, and feels no need to rush to do anything, let alone everything at a very slow pace and enjoy/pays attention to the moment in the minute, because he has already experienced 3 times more of that same minute by living 3 times that amount of minutes. Thus every one of his minutes seems longer to him, as they are filled with more experience.

    Reply
  • Fred March 25, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Where’s the follow up to your 20 lbs of muscle by March 21st (which has come and gone).

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 25, 2013, 3:47 pm

      Yeah! I wanted to see if people would start calling me out on it, validating the idea that people will hold you accountable – you’re the second person now.

      As a sneak preview, I did meet the 20 lb goal! And I am really close (or over) on the lifting goals too. I am pretty excited to be setting strength records so quickly after coming from such a low point.

      Reply
  • Accidental Miser March 25, 2013, 3:45 pm

    As a newly-licensed teen driver, I vividly recall emerging from my car and beginning to run across a parking lot due to the rain. As I began, I noticed all the other people and how ridiculous they looked. At that moment, I decided that I would walk in a dignified manner especially in the rain even if I didn’t have an umbrella.

    For nearly 30 years now, I have positively sauntered in gale-force winds and driving rain. I’m going to be wet anyway, I might as well have my pride.

    Great article!!

    Reply
  • Mike March 25, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Is it just me or wasn’t that Buddhism in a nutshell?

    Reply
  • jet March 25, 2013, 7:23 pm

    Yup, I like it! I am not sure about sauntering when it’s very hot and I can feel my shoes melting to the pavement, but any other time is good.

    It rains so rarely here and everyone scurries about when it’s a slight bit wet. It makes cycling more dangerous cos pedestrians are more likely to run across the road without looking properly first. I make sure I enjoy the rain when it is here!

    Reply
  • Dragline March 25, 2013, 8:24 pm

    Yes, he writes a very nice blog over there that is well worth reading.

    Anything rooted in Emerson is usually pretty good stuff.

    Reply
  • Mr HighFalutin HillFolk March 26, 2013, 12:44 am

    to each person according to what is beneficial to them. i’m a natural born walker and used to take on strolls for 20+ miles. more often i would look hurried and occupied. not because i was rushing and suffering for it. but because i was hatching ideas and eager to get to work on those ideas. in a hurry does not have to mean unhappy. even so, i can’t argue with stopping to smell the roses sometimes.

    Reply
  • Mark March 26, 2013, 6:43 am

    What a great article on mindfulness. A great reminder!

    Reply
  • Chaz March 26, 2013, 7:06 am

    Looks like I found a new blog to follow!

    Reply
  • EMH March 26, 2013, 7:48 am

    I keep picturing the Dude from Big Lebowski.

    I like to walk to clear out my head and take advantage of the few extra moments to myself. I work 7.5 miles from my home and I usually take the train or bike but if the weather is perfect and my shoes are appropriate, then I will walk home.

    Reply
  • jlcollinsnh March 26, 2013, 12:35 pm

    “Stretching is something people generally don’t regret doing.”

    That’s a beautiful line, the truth of which I am reminded of each time I watch my dog stretch. Mostly he does it just for the sheer pleasure.

    But he also finds a series of elaborate stretches to be suddenly essential anytime I ask him to do something he rather not do. Which is most every thing I ask except…

    “Do you want to go for a walk?”

    No pre-walk stretching ever seems to be needed. Only jumping and whining with excitement.

    Reply
  • Jim Weston March 26, 2013, 2:48 pm

    People think I’m weird for doing this, but I always park far away at the back of a parking lot. I never deal with the mess of fighting for spots close to the building, that is just a waste of time and gas for everyone. And my feet work just fine.

    Reply
  • abraxas March 26, 2013, 5:02 pm

    I’m one of those who march across parking lots and don’t ever plan to change that. The immersive ugliness of the built up environment of North America makes me want to be anywhere but there. It assaults my sense of aesthetics. The only people immune to this sensation are those who grew up in NA. To understand what I’m talking about watch this TED talk: http://vimeo.com/9874554

    Reply
  • stellamarina March 26, 2013, 8:07 pm

    Nice writing but the best thing about walking across a parking lot has been left out. Finding dropped coins. Parking lots are good places to find some extra change! aloha

    Reply
    • Joggernot April 11, 2014, 5:11 am

      Did you know that paper money gets blown across the parking lot and catches in the shrubs/stuff at the edge of the parking lot? Next time park at the outer edge and walk the periphery just for fun…:)

      Reply
  • AZUSA March 27, 2013, 12:19 am

    Well said. So many people want to park close to the door, are in a hurry to get there, to get in, to get out, to get home, missing moments of joy and awareness in the process.

    Reply
  • Alex March 27, 2013, 1:22 am

    I loved this! Reminds me of many things I’ve read regarding Zen… be present… experience life as it is happening, instead of being caught up in THINKING about what is happening… Lovely. Thanks for sharing this MMM :-)

    Reply
  • Jeremy March 27, 2013, 3:17 pm

    This is a beautiful piece, a poetic reminder to be present

    But who are these people that actually drive motorized carriages to these things called parking lots? :-D

    Reply
  • Another March 27, 2013, 5:40 pm

    I think this article is great and I get the point. However, I do have one beef with it… Maybe it’s just the polite Canadian in me, but I could never purposely stroll in front of vehicles and make them wait for me. I actually find it extremely rude. My children and I actually rush across when we walk in front if a car, but you can be sure that they learned to wave and flash giant smiles as we do it. The smiles we get back always make my insides all warm and fuzzy.

    Reply
  • Chris March 27, 2013, 5:41 pm

    This made me think of David Foster Wallace and his commencement speech (that one could title “This is Water”) which is worth a listen or read.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vET9cvlGJQw

    http://moreintelligentlife.com/story/david-foster-wallace-in-his-own-words

    He was brilliant in my opinion and had an uncommon grasp of both the English language and the human condition.

    Reply
  • spoonman March 27, 2013, 11:20 pm

    Excellent post!

    David Cain’s writing style kind of reminds me of Douglas Adams.

    Reply
  • Marisa March 28, 2013, 12:27 pm

    This is a great article. People that fight for those front parking spots are usually overweight anyways. I do have a feeling this person has never experienced a Buffalo, NY winter day in a parking lot though! Ha!

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache March 28, 2013, 4:36 pm

      Actually, David lives somewhere that makes Buffalo look like the banana belt (the Canadian praries).

      Reply
      • Marisa March 29, 2013, 11:18 am

        I think he is a talented writer and makes a valid point that people just need to slow down. I don’t think a parking lot was a very good choice to demonstrate this idea. It is like saying go ahead and stroll around a busy street with no care in the world. A walmart parking lot on a Saturday afternoon for example is no place to be smelling the flowers. What pops up in my mind is running into the building to avoid that painful minus ten degree windchill and a bunch of crazies driving like crazies.

        Reply
        • Dr.Vibrissae April 1, 2013, 3:17 pm

          To me the whole point is that a parking lot is, for most people, the antithesis of a place to stop and smell the idiomatic roses, which is what makes his point so powerful. No one really needs to be told that a stroll in a rose garden can be a pleasant experience, but to find the beauty of the moment in a place so little concerned with beauty? That is a precious thing.

          Reply
  • Dan April 8, 2013, 1:45 am

    Nice post! Helps remind me to enjoy the simple things in life.

    Reply
  • Eric April 22, 2013, 5:09 pm

    I found this blog through Raptitude a little while ago, and I’ve really be enjoying the MMM community.

    Just wanted to add that if you haven’t already read his post: Your lifestyle has already been designed, you should. I think its a perfect complement to your blog.

    (Link: http://www.raptitude.com/2010/07/your-lifestyle-has-already-been-designed/)

    PS: Hi MMM folks, first comment from me.

    Reply
  • Marc G. September 21, 2013, 10:09 am

    This article reminded me to this quote: “Traveling, of course, is at the heart of the bum. I mean “traveling” as opposed to mere tourism. The true traveler goes to places seeking authenticity, tangibleness, challenge and spontaneous beauty rather than comfort, convenience, ease and itinerary. And they’re willing to put in the time it takes to reach those deeper places hidden inside mere locations. A traveler is someone who heads out into the world – be it wilderness backcountry or urban frontcountry – deliberately, consciously and conscientiously, to be in a place rather than just to see a place, and to meet the inhabitants as they are rather than watching them perform like on some TV reality show.” – Ken Wright

    Reply
  • Mira October 19, 2013, 6:25 am

    Amazing. This almost sounds…enlightened. And yogic. I think it’s interesting that so much modern day experimentation and thought leads back to the same (universal??) conclusions yogis and zen practitioners discovered in the distant past- namely that being mindful in action can improve life, the human race, and apparently lead to enlightenment.

    Reply
  • Alasdair November 12, 2013, 9:53 am

    “If you do nothing else right today, at least you sat at fifty miles an hour.”
    And immediately I like him. Yet another blog to read my way through. This is exactly how it started with MMM. And now look. Only a month later I’m almost caught up! And investing 50% of my pay. Damn well-written insightful blogs…

    Reply
  • Burak June 19, 2014, 3:14 am

    It’s nice and funny to see this article here because I started sucking up the content of MMM firstly just by clicking a link on raptitude. Small world! :)

    Reply

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