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How to turn a car rental return into Dim Sum.

How to turn a car rental return into Dim Sum.

How do you turn something you have to do into something you want to do?

Is it a zero sum game? If you do one, can you not do the other? If you do the thing you have to do can you not do the thing you want to do? Or if you do the thing you want to do you still have to do the thing you have to do? In real terms, can you eat cookie dough ice cream and then you don’t have to do your taxes?*

In game theory and economic theory, a zero-sum game is a mathematical representation of a situation in which each participant’s gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s). — Wikipedia

Careful, math ahead. Oh wait, there was math already. Sorry. 

Here’s the math:

  • 1 = what you have to do
  • 1= what you want to do
  • 1 = what you think you can do
  • 2 = what you could do

Here’s the scenario. (Translate this into your own universe. It’s easy, it’s just a mindset shift … which is as small of a movement as your fingers through your hair and as big as a planet changing orbit. I warned you there would be math. Maybe that was science. Dunno. Dun care.)

I had to return a rental car to a nearby town this morning by noon. There you go. That’s my seed of inspiration. Doesn’t sound like much, right? t had the following options:

  1. Return car, BART (train) home.
  2. Return car, someone follows me in another car, drive home.
  3. Return car, research what’s in the neighborhood, make a morning out of it.

The difference between #2 and #3 is the difference between lightning bug and lightning. It’s a flash of light, it’s just on a different order of magnitude.

 Ooh, book title alert! Book title alert! Magnitude of Attitude. I just copyrighted it, bummer for you. Watch for it on digital shelves.

Back to our regularly scheduled program on boring car rental return transforming into a culinary extravaganza. Oh yes.

No one was excited about the car rental return. Not even your happy-go-lucky fearless leader (that’s me). So how to turn something you have to do into something you want to do? It begins with open.

Be open to ideas that aren’t in your top 10 ideas. Be open to something different. Be open to an idea that you didn’t think of. Be open to an idea that doesn’t make lots of sense at first. Be open to the dreams of others. Be open to what could happen if you do something in a way that you didn’t map out. Be open to turning something mundane into something possibly magnificent. Be open to adventure. Be open to risk. Be open to trying something untried. Be open to it not working out. Be open to thinking differently. Be open to the mundane transforming into the magnificent. Be open to steering the ship in that direction. Be open to failure. Be open to success. Be open.

That’s it. That’s the first step. I could tell you that it’s a secret, but if I tell you in that way, it’s no longer a secret. So there you have it, the secret that’s not a secret.

Enjoy your new power.

* It’s not that simple. Oh, and the answer is No.



  1. Writing Every Day Beyond 1,000 Posts - […] How to turn a car rental return into Dim Sum. (May 1) […]

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