Two years ago I boarded a United flight to NYC. After take-off from L.A., the pilot greeted the passengers and said he expected the smooth flight to reach its destination in 4 hours and 44 minutes. I immediately told the gentlemen seated to my left and right that this would be an incredibly fabulous flight! I’ve always had a magical connection with 4:44. Whenever I see that time on a clock, I take a minute to focus on my desires and make a wish.
The flight was beyond amazing. The jovial flight attendants kept bringing out treats like ice cream and wine. They offered chocolate and vanilla, red and white. And this was coach! Peter, to my right, offered me his Bose, noise-cancelling headphones for a 2-hour movie. Ray, to my left, was asleep when his glass of red wine spilled onto his pants, only to wake up to a gracious, sisterly flight attendant who brought him a blanket, took his pants to wash and returned them, dry and ironed after a few minutes. He didn’t like the book he brought along on the flight, so the same attendant brought him a better read. There are four hours and forty-four minutes worth of unbelievable examples like these, that made the flight so enjoyable and incredible!
When we landed, Peter, a 70-year-old New-Yorker headed to India, told me that I must have a sixth sense, because the flight was indeed fabulously magical! As I took my phone out of my bag to write the name of the museum on the Upper West Side he named as his favorite space in NYC, I gasped at the time and showed him that it read: 4:44pm. Like a wise, old sage, Peter said to me that this time keeps showing up in my life not because of coincidence, but because I’m paying attention. And because I’m tuned in, I should be asking the questions: What is my path? What is my purpose? What else should I be doing with my life?
That night, I had a tough time falling asleep in my hotel room. There was a loud train outside my window, and I kept tossing and turning. I finally decided, in a half-asleep state, that I could either struggle against the train, or I could board the train, and ride it into my dreams. I chose the latter, and rode into the most blissful and vividly beautiful landscape in the Himalayas.
The next day, after celebrating the Chinese New Year with my friends at the World Trade Center, I met up with my good friend, Dylan, at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, located in a beautiful brownstone on the Upper West Side. We barely made it to Peter’s recommendation before the place closed, and knew nothing about the artist or the exhibits.
The very first painting I saw as we entered the magical space immediately triggered my memory of my train-ride dream to the Himalayas the previous night. The painting and my dream were one and the same!! I turned to Dylan to tell him that I dreamed of these exact mountains when he called my attention to the fact that the entire 3-story brownstone was filled with Roerich’s mystical mountains. I couldn’t believe it! It was so incredibly powerful! I told Dylan about the fabulous four-hour, forty-four minute flight and the arrival at 4:44pm…and Peter’s message to search for meaning, and the peaceful journey to the Himalayas in my dream. And then, to perfectly conclude the chain of events, Dylan showed me his phone, the hour on which read: 4:44pm.
Fast forward to last week Tuesday. I was picked up at the San Francisco airport by a VP of a company who invited me to speak at their bi-annual sales meeting on “communication keys that drive connectivity and profitability.” The evening before my speaking engagement, I joined Dawn and the next day’s closing keynote speaker. To my delighted dismay, I discovered that Gary is a mountaineer who journeys to the Himalayas, has climbed Mount Everest, the planet’s highest peak, and shares his story with organizations, reminding leaders that “anything is possible” and anyone can make it to the “top of the world.” He wrote these very phrases on posters he gifted me of his Himalayan journey.
Gary’s Himalayan journey posters are now perched alongside framed prints of Roerich’s Himalayan mountains on my bedroom dresser. Both remind me of my purpose — to master my mountains — to believe in possibility, to create opportunity and to keep reaching, aiming and climbing. I see these images before I go to sleep and when I wake up. They’re validations that I’m on the right path. They fill me with gratitude for having the courage to leave my comfortable position in academia and to fully commit to my role as an executive coach and trainer for attorneys and business leaders, guiding them to master their own mountains.
Tips, Tools & Take-Aways to Uncover Your Purpose:
- Pay attention – tune in to your desires.
- Make a wish every day at a special time.
- Notice all the miraculous people and events around you – acknowledge them.
- Express gratitude for all that brings you joy – seek out more opportunities to feel fulfilled.
- Use your talents to make a positive impact.
- Share your knowledge, your vision and your experiences to connect with others.
- Challenge yourself to achieve meaningful success.
- Focus on your known or yet-to-be-discovered intentions daily: Before you fall asleep and as soon as you awake.
Lee K. Broekman