Do you ever play this game: "If I hadn't just accidentally found myself in that elevator (or in that classroom, gym class, subway car, or party) at that exact moment in time, how would my entire life have been different? Maybe I never would have met my mate, or a key business connection, or a lifelong friend. Right!
Here's an example: Last week, I was dripping wet in our building's elevator, having just finished swimming laps, when I "accidentally" ran into one of my neighbors, a movie producer named Russ Terlecki of Wideyefilms . Earlier that morning, in the New York Times, I had read an article about Wendy Diamond, the author of the indispensable It's A Dog's World: The Saavy Guide to Four-Legged Living.
Wendy is also the editor of the fantastic Animal Fair Magazine. I made a note to myself that I wanted to one day meet Wendy, an incredibly creative dog-loving entrepreneur. So there I was in the elevator, and I just happened to mention my new "dog" book to Russ, who then told me: "There's somebody you really have to meet, Wendy Diamond--one of my best friends!"
Simply put, it's so often the people in our physical orbits--those in closest proximity--who will become the people most important to us. When you're around someone in your environment, day after day, you notice their insight, humor, and unique talents--and the needs in them that call out to you for fulfillment. When we look to each other for companionship, love, and connection--we often get what we need.
That's one key reason why my dog Katie and I became so close to our octogenarian friend, Pearl, and her husband Arthur, and the little boy Ryan, and his Dad, John. Katie and I needed connection--and we so fortuitously found it--just down the hall.
So as Tony often says to seminar participants: "Who, in your environment is nearby? Who's literally in your field of vision? Who do you keep bumping into, over and over again?"
In this way, as he wisely concludes: "For most of us, proximity is the messenger of fate."
I can tell you that it's this principle that changed my life, and the life of my dog forever--and I bet it's changing yours as well.