I was standing at the platform at dusk, yellow-orange letters stark against the black of the information board.
Ealing Broadway 1 min
West Ruislip 3 min
No biggie. I pulled out my phone and waited.
When the train pulled up, I got on with everyone else.
Except, as they announced the next stop, I realized I’d made a horrible mistake.
“This stop is…West Acton” the cheery lady on the tube announced.
I facepalmed in the middle of the train. Maybe it was the dregs of jet lag or all the people getting on around me, or the fact that I’d always been able to just get on the first train so far acting as some kind of autopilot.
Whatever it was…
I’d gotten on the Ealing Broadway, when I wanted West Ruislip.
I got off, turned around, and headed back the way I came. And then sent an embarrassing text to my cousin telling her I’d be late.
This time, I had to wait for four trains to go by before a West Ruislip train came along (about 7 minutes).
You can bet I spent every second of that 7 minutes alert, with my eyes peeled. Ready and waiting and watching for MY train.
This time, I made damn sure I was on the right train…
Here’s the thing: the tube? That train? It’s not just about getting around London.
How many trains have you got on because everyone else was? Because getting on was automatic? Going with the flow?
When I say trains I’m not talking about trains. I’m talking about the choices we make in life.
How many trains have you gotten on while looking at your phone? Following the crowd? Being a sheep? Doing it because you’re supposed to.
Sometimes we don’t know what the right train is and that’s okay.
Sometimes the “right” train gets derailed and we have to find another way.
Sometimes a train isn’t even available and so we take a bus or hail a cab or grab a bike or start to walk.
The thing is? Those are all trains.
Which is why this is so important.
Take the right train.
I don’t care what you’re doing. It can be business, it can be art, it can be skydiving for all I care.
Whatever you do, take the right train.
Pull yourself out of that herd-following brain fog.
Force your brain out of automatic.
Look up from your phone.
And take the right train.